After releasing their debut album, Oshin, back in 2012, New York quintet DIIV are back with their latest effort, Is the Is Are.
First track, ‘Out Of Mind’, is charged with memorable distant vocals and trippy tones, seen in their prior album. Foreshadowing the remaining tracks on the album, the track dwells on its drowsy brilliance. ‘Under the Sun’ ensues a continuation of greatness, only emphasised with their repetitive yet tranquilising guitar riffs. Despite decreasing towards the end and resulting in eventual silence, both tracks hold a soothing feel to their tones.
In comparison, ‘Bent’ progresses the album into a crescendo – considerably less tranquil than the prior tracks. Complimenting the ghostly vocals is the haunting guitar work; Greatly contrasting, transcending into a happier toned chorus and further implementing the ghostly tones once again in the verses, seen further in ‘Dust’. This contrast only enlivens the chorus even further; certainly changing the previously felt relaxation of the album. Although the primary upbeat track reappears in the following, ‘Dopamine’. Smooth guitar work is used to ensure this, alongside unexpectedly beating drums – only furthering to the surprise of the track.
Elements of surprise continue with the following track, ‘Blue Boredom’, where a grunge filled introduction is evident – despite the lingering trippy sounds. Individualising the song from the previous are the unexpected female vocals of Sky Ferreira; complementing the repetitive drums and guitar work, and emphasising the reappearance of Zachary Cole Smith’s vocals in ‘Valentine’ and ‘Loose Ends’ – with distant vocals backing up of the track.
‘Yr Not Far’ initially resembles Joy Division before reverting back to their original sound of distortion, distant vocals and accompanied instrumental; in contrast to ‘Take Your Time’ and ‘Is the Is Are’, presenting a clear diminuendo. Continuing the upbeat vibe is ‘Mire (Grant’s Song)’, seeing an increasingly electric track – thus reverting to the haunting sound. Tracks switch between the haunting, yet summer trippy tones on the album. Though ‘Incarnate Devil’ mixes both tones together in the same track.
With interludes such as ‘(Fuck)’ and ‘(Napa)’, it creates a structure for the LP; enabling the genre to switch in between tracks, switching again in ‘Healthy Moon’. Concluding with a mixture of grunge, haunting riffs and trippy sounds merged together; DIIV are certainly back, injecting the entirety of Is the Is Are with both individuality and pure talent.
Is the Is Are is out now via Captured Tracks.