An immediate favorite album, the kind that pushes others out, pulls together cozily familiar songs without distinctly peeling ideas straight off their influences. The first full length from Deep Sea Diver, History Speaks, shows off exactly this delicate composition that includes nods to and layers of many former favorites, without sponging off those bands’ risks.
Then again, they’re no amateurs. The company they keep includes a former tour with Conor Oberst and a future tour with James Mercer and the Shins. Frontwoman Jessica Dobson has played bass and keys with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, guitar for the Shins and, oh yeah, Beck. You don’t get here without bringing your own hat.
The influence of the Shins is arguably the strongest, which makes for a great June bill in the lucky midwest. The opening track “Ships” captures the uneasy listing back-and-forth that so often signifies the end of a relationship. Dobson’s careful voice throughout bend the lyrics into something varied and altogether bigger, a craft that is lost on so many singers. Husband Peter Mansen, John Raines & Michael Duggan round out the band, never crashing in with a heavy-handed over Dobson’s intricate melodies, and adding a sophistication that carries the lyrics out.
Look for a lot more press on this one! Oh yeah, and catch the Shins on SNL March 10 and this Deep Sea Diver video from Sound on the Sound.