It is quite fitting that a record like this would kick off my 365-day project here on the first day of 2013, because I don’t know much at all about the band DIIV (pronounced “dive” and so named for the Nirvana song). I found out about the band based on a recommendation from a forum on AP.net, a music site that I frequent.
Oshin is the debut full-length release from DIIV, a Brooklyn-based shoegaze/dream pop band. It’s a perfect rainy day record. At times, Oshin has a very 80s vibe, leaning on heavy reverb in both the vocals and guitar effects.
The lyrics on many of the songs are obscured because of the amount of distortion on the vocals. Where there are lyrics, they’re short.
Here are, in their entirety, the lyrics of “Air Conditioning”:
Choke-clean cold to cool my thoughts away
Choke-clean cold to cool my thoughts away from you
In essence, you’re not… really missing out on much by not being able to hear them.
Some of the songs would fit right in right beside Flock of Seagulls on the Vice City soundtrack. They’re upbeat without being ostentatious – a problem I feel many shoegaze bands have. It’s straightforward in a way that one doesn’t normally find with this type of music.
And for the record, I will stay away from any of the all-too-obvious “unkempt greasy hair and flannel” or Cure stereotypes.
Standout songs: “How Long Have You Known?” and “(Druun Pt. II)”
Weakest song: “Home”
RIYL: Shoegaze, dream pop. Beach House, Twin Shadow, Washed Out, Slowdive.