“I knew it was going to take a really good album to save me. That’s what made it so hard to write, and why it took so long. If I didn’t make a great record, then I’m done.”
DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith gave this candid quote to Pitchfork in January. Dramatic, but a battle with addiction almost stopped the follow up to 2012’s ‘Oshin’ from happening.
Luckily for us it didn’t. Released in February, ‘Is The Is Are’ is a statement of intent. If ‘Oshin’ was a train floating rhythmically in the sky then ‘ITIA’ is a plummet off the tracks into oblivion. It’s DIIV as you know them but with Smith’s personal vocals pushed to the forefront. The musical tone is also darker. ‘Oshin’ was dream pop for a lucid high – this is the sound of a comedown.
This could be a recipe for dirge but in Smith’s hands it works. Even a track as lyrically bleak as ‘Dopamine’ somehow sounds uplifting.
Here Smith has added post-punk and krautrock nuances to DIIV’s trademark dream pop sound. The outro to ‘Take Your Time’ is hypnotically TRAAMS tinged and there are Sonic Youth nods throughout. ‘Is The Is Are’ is loaded with hits that will add to an already stacked setlist of favourites.
Rescheduled from the cancelled gig in March – all previously purchased tickets are valid. If you missed out last time tickets are available here.
Concorde 2, Friday 23rd September 2016