Oshin

Studio Album by released in 2012
Oshin's tracklist:
(Druun)
Past Lives
Human
Air Conditioning
How Long Have You Known
Wait
Earthboy
(Druun Pt. II)
Follow
Sometime
Oshin (Subsume)
Doused
Home

Oshin review

Nice to meet you!

Time to welcome a new band. Today it is a Brooklyn-based formation called DIIV. Initially, it was home-located, experimental project by Zachary Cole Smith, Dive, and then he was joined by three more musicians to play his material with classic rock music instruments. Except DIIV works can hardly be referred to rock, if only to indie rock, where borders are mobile and vague. Shortly after the formation of the stable line-up, more and more people got to calling DIIV a dream pop project, which might be more accurate. In fact, the classification issue is caused by the fact that Zachary molded his song-writing views under the influence of a very wide range of performers. Among his inspirers he has named representatives of gothic scene, grunge and psychedelic rock. All of them, albeit in different proportions, are presented on the DIIV debut album that was named Oshin.

Dream ocean

Particularly meticulous observers even managed to spot in the word Oshin a distorted version of ocean. Probably, there is a right reason for that. Music textures seem to float along the channels of rhythm, section. Speaking of which, bass is the most distinct here, while Zachary’s vocals are very indiscernible, which is due to the specific arrangements. It looks like the voice itself must be appraised by listeners, rather than the words which you can understand only with the text in front of your eyes. The musicians must have decided that the singing would be another instrument to complement the acoustic structure of Oshin. At those rare moments when the words are comprehensible, it turns out that they are just repetitions like in How Long Have You Known, or tautology like in Home. These tricks must serving to create a lulling or hypnotizing effect, which, in fact, is the main goal of the entire album’s sound. The absence of abrupt breaks, stable rhythms and tempo, together with light and low-profile muffled guitars send listeners into a state of subtle sleep, slumber or dreaming.

A big start and intriguing prospects

The trouble with Oshin is that separately from the album, its tracks simply cannot exist. They are not tuneful or catchy enough to become independent radio or TV hits. Only together as one, inside this set, do they have a meaning that the musicians intended to put in them. It is not even a meaning, but an atmosphere, an acute and powerful sensation of submerging into another environment. Could it be an ocean? At the same time, these songs flow into one another so smoothly that after a couple of first listens it is hard to single out a favorite track or two – they are very similar. In the end, these songs will be remembered not by melodies or lyrics, but by their arrangements, like Earthboy, where the background noise is very similar to that of an approaching train. This track, and the whole album, too, could be recommended as a very efficient sedative. Well, as a debut it is pretty good. DIIV musicians proved they can make a convincing type of music with a specific feel in it. Yet they will be asked for more than that on the following studio record.

Alex Bartholomew (11.07.2012)
Rate review4.37
Total votes - 8


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