Tag Archives: Czech Republic

May 3, 2017 — “Open the Door” by DIV I DED


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Open the Door” by DIV I DED (2017, from the album Transformation).

DIV I DED is an indie pop/dream pop/shoegaze quartet from Frýdek Místek, Czech Republic. They formed in 2013 and released their debut album Born to Sleep in the autumn of 2014. They followed with their sophomore record Transformation, which came out last month. That’s pretty much all I know about them. I learned about them this morning when I was researching other things and trying to get inspired to start writing more regularly. I heard a bit of a different song, then found this song, which I like even more.

Incidentally, there’s something that I always do when I hear about a band from a small town I’ve never heard of in either Czech, Sweden, or Finland. Just for the sake of learning some trivia, I checked to see if any well-known hockey players are from Frýdek Místek. The only one I could find is Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ondřej Palát, who was selected by the Bolts in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL draft. It’s rare for a player selected in the last round to make it to the NHL at all, and he’s done more than that. He has been an every day player who consistently scores close to 20 goals per season. He also serves as Tampa’s alternate captain, which is another thing you never see from a player who was taken that late. Enough about hockey, though.

I’ve listened to most, but not all of the new record, and there are some bits that remind me of 1960s girl groups. There are some bits that remind me of early 2000s lo-fi pop. There are other bits that remind me of mid 1990s dream pop/shoegaze stuff. Other stuff, too. I guess there’s not really one tidy cubby hole to put them in.

Anyway, I really like this song and everything else I’ve heard:
“Open the Door” by DIV I DED

There’s a lot of vocal effects, which may be disguising something, but I like the end result. I’m always a sucker for the soft, gentle voice layered on itself and treated with bits of delay.

Another thing that I really like about this song is sort of a subtle thing. At the end of the first chorus, there’s an almost unnoticeable bit of clean, jangly acoustic guitar. It’s also there at the end of the second chorus, but it’s buried under a bit of heavy, gazey fuzz which carries us through the middle eight section. Still, under all of that fuzz, you can just hear that jangly guitar bit. But if you’re not paying attention and specifically listening for it, it’s easy to miss.

You can download a copy of Transformation via Bandcamp here. By today’s exchange rate, 100 CZK is equal to about $4.08 USD.

11.06.2014 — “’94” by Manon Meurt

Manon Meurt

If you only listen to one song today, make it “’94” by Manon Meurt (2014, from the Manon Meurt EP).

Manon Meurt is a dream pop/shoegaze quartet from Rakovnik, Czech Republic. They formed in 2010 and used to call themselves Katie & The Accessories. In 2013, they changed their name to Manon Meurt. It’s probably a safe assumption that the band name comes from the 18th century French short novel Manon Lescaut, by Abbé Prévost. The titular character dies a tragic death in the end. Manon dies. Manon meurt.

I don’t know anything about this band. I stumbled upon a different song while I was working on a different post and I promised myself that I would write about them as soon as I could.

Judging from the songs that I’ve heard, the band is influenced by Slowdive more than any other band, but certainly by the whole UK shoegaze/dream pop movement in the early to mid 1990s.

There are six songs on the self-titled EP, and they’re all great. This isn’t the first song that I heard, but it’s the one that I like the most at the moment.

“’94” by Manon Meurt

It’s a bit of a slow burner. I love the way that it starts off so very gently. The ringing guitar bit balanced heavily to the left channel and Káta Elznicová’s soft vocals heavily to the right. For the first 90 seconds, that’s all there is, and it’s quite soothing. By 1:31, the drums creep in, and slowly, the bass and other guitar come in. By 3:00, the audio balance is pretty level and the song starts to pick up the pace and intensity.

Between 3:00 and 4:24, there’s a steady ascent to its dizzying height. During this section, I’m reminded of Cranes. Not any song in particular, but just very Cranes-y in a general kind of way. Obviously Káta Elznicová doesn’t have a singing style that’s anything close to Alison Shaw’s very distinctive voice, but there’s something about the whole package that reminds me of Cranes.

For extra credit, here’s a video of the band playing ” ’94” live.

For even more extra credit, here’s a video of the band playing a cover of “When the Sun Hits” by Slowdive. The quality of the recording isn’t fantastic, but they’re playing the song well and adding their own touch:

You can buy a download of Manon Meurt from the bandcamp page here. If it matters, 100 Czech koruna is equal to about $4.50 USD, €3.60, or £2.81.

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