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DIIV strike gold with their first LP.
on 31 May 2014
Oshin is the debut album by DIIV, one of the most exciting bands on the planet at the minute. It was released a couple of years back, it's dreamy hooks, indistinguishable vocals and sublime instrumentation captured the attention of the music buying public. It has a dreamy, mellow mood to it all round, which is contrary to the New Yorkers' chaotic live sets.
Both sides open with two minute long instrumentals, titled Druun pt 1 & 2. Whilst Druun 1 sounds reminiscent of Joy Division's Disorder, the faster paced Druun 2 sounds cosmic and much more unlike anything else you've ever heard.
In terms of sheer highlights, 3 songs stand out; Past Lives, Air Conditioning and Doused. Past Lives' descending melody sounds almost euphoric, but mournful too as frontman Cole Smith goes through one of his finer lyrical moments. Smith's songwriting style throughout is minimalistic, but effective.
Air Conditioning is my personal favourite, and it is the longest song on the LP. It's the moment where DIIV's biggest influences come together to form the perfect blissed-out pop song; the dreamy guitar tones of Ride and the Cocteau Twins merge with the motorik rhythms of Neu! and Amon Duul. Again the lyrics are a really minor part of the song, but when dreamy guitar lines sound like they do on Air Conditioning, singing matters not a jot.
The least dreamy moment on Oshin is Doused. Doused often ends DIIV's live shows for one reason: it sounds like it's about to finish for the duration of it's 220 second runtime. It's a very frantic song, but is easily the records highlight. Devin Perez's repetitive bassline and the fast descending riff too contribute to Oshin's Penultimate track being one of 2012's high points.
Although it lacks dynamic variety elsewhere, catchy pop song How Long Have You Known?, the melancholy Follow and the harsh sounding title track add up to make Oshin one of, if not THE album of 2012, and poises DIIV's sophomore album to be one of the decades great records.
I thoroughly implore anyone considering purchasing this LP, or tickets to see the band to do so. The album itself is accessible to begin with, but also a grower. The band clearly have a great taste in music themselves, because the likes of Joy Division, Neu! and Ride shine through on this wonderful debut album. Please buy it, you won't regret it.