In 2012 Zachary Cole Smith and his band released an album that would impact people for years after. “Oshin” was a something new, it had the typical indie genre but brought in elements of pop, shoegaze and at many points instrumental too.
Fans where then left hanging for four years waiting for Diiv’s follow up album. Finally in September 2015 Cole-Smith announced their newest single “Dopamine” which gave Diiv’s loyal following the music they’d been waiting for.
“Is The Is Are” was finally released on February 5th and it gave us everything Cole-Smith had promised.
Opening with “Out of Mind” and followed closely by the last single released leading up to the album “Under the Sun”, you are immediately returned to Cole-Smith’s drug fueled, euphoric world that was presented to us on “Oshin.”
However “Under the Sun” has a more indie rock vibe to it, like many tracks on this album, they seem more clear and structured than a lot of “Oshin.” Tracks like “Is The Is Are” and “Incarnate Devil” all have an indie genre running through them.
The album has an element of darkness to it too though, it’s stating the battle with addiction that Cole-Smith and then girlfriend Sky Ferreira had both been in the media about.
The low-tones and unnerving sounds of “Mire (Grant’s Song)”, “Dust” and “Valentine” add an element of sadness to the album. “Mire..” especially as it enters a realm of shoegazing that we, as Diiv fans, haven’t seen them enter before.
Of course the album still has similarities to Diiv’s 2012 “Oshin” as tracks like “Bent (Roi’s Song)” and “Loose Ends” both could sit on Diiv’s debut and carry the element of what the band started off doing.
Even the small bridging tracks like “(Fuck)” and “Napa” are a very interesting point of the album, collectively lasting no longer than two minutes – ten seconds, they are small pieces of musical masterpieces.
It’s clear that Diiv have progressed from their “Oshin” era and have produced an album that, yes, at some points may seem a little self-absorbed and focused around addiction being somewhat “cool” it’s impossible to deny that this is a spectacular album.
From highlights like “Healthy Moon”, “Dust” and “Out of Mind” to all the well wrote and well produced singles, their isn’t really a low point to this album.
Like “Oshin” you never feel yourself wanting to skip a song and that’s the sign of a good album.
Even if we are all left waiting another four years for Diiv music, at least we can continue to play “Is The Is Are” for that duration.
Diiv are heading on tour now, find the tour dates here