Zachary Cole-Smith started life out as a session guitarist for acts such as Darwin Deez and Beach Fossils but it’s with his own incarnation as DIIV (formerly known as Dive in honour of the Nirvana track of the same name), where he has not only found his passion but created some of the most seminal music of our generation.
The band’s first album Oshin was almost exclusively comprised from Smith’s demos and direction, his unwavering ear lending itself to the multi-faceted and multi-layered relentless sound. Since then we have had band members change, band members land themselves in some very deep shit and the release of that dreaded second album.
The second LP from the Brooklyn band fronted by Zachary Cole Smith follows a lot of hype. Brilliant releases from the LP have already made huge waves across the industry. ‘Dopamine’ and ‘Bent (Roi’s Song)’ have garnered huge attention for their effortlessly ethereal content. The rest of the album follows suit but it’s the cohesion of the whole piece which brings it to the forefront of the scene.
The album works as one whole composition, something savoured in this era. Pounding rhythm lends backbone to the heavy scraping of riffs which peak like cloudy mountains and fall like crystalline rivers. It stretches across a plethora of emotions without reaching and adds grit to what can be an over-emotional sound. It speaks volumes of a band looking to cement their place as a cultural icon.
Sonically textured and divisively astute DIIV spread their work across 17 tracks and look set to try to backdrop every feeling you have. Every sunrise, every morning coffee and every drunken night has its place on the album.
It is this complex crucible of sound which is most interesting. Smith and Co deal with reality in such an escapist form it feels like a tableaux of our time. A reality removed from itself but still always apparent.
What speaks volumes for the band is that they manage to complete these complexities with not only a musically astute practice but with a reverence that makes you feel valued as a listener as well as a consumer.
DIIV are only going to get better, the band will continue to file their own values above all else. That their music, their art, is at all times the single most important thing to them.
As a zeitgeist of our times, so deeply affected by a lack of concentration, it is a welcomed relief.