There's more than one way to qualify as a "guitar band": You can shred, sure, or you can lay down layer upon layer of guitars to weave an intricate tapestry. For Diiv — yes, the group was once called "Dive," and yes, it's from Brooklyn — guitars dominate, but as warm, chiming mood-setters.
But unlike forebears such as The Cure and Real Estate, it can be tricky to suss out where Diiv is coming from, lyrically speaking. Real Estate's lyrics are all about sepia-toned nostalgia, for example, while The Cure's songs chronicle the paranoid and fantastical musings of Robert Smith's marvelous brain. Diiv's music shares DNA with those bands, but its new album Oshin focuses far more on simply setting a subtly melancholic, washed-out tone; virtually every word is smeared to the point of indecipherability. With their beautifully interlocking guitars, "Past Lives," "How Long Have You Known" and especially "Follow" stand out, but Oshin isn't a collection of singles so much as a long, soothing bath at the end of a long day.
"Follow" is streaming on this page, but for a limited time, you can stream Oshin in its entirety at Hype Machine. The album comes out June 26 on Captured Tracks.
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