ALBUM: IS THE IS ARE
LABEL: CAPTURED TRACKS
RELEASE DATE: 5 FEBRUARY 2016
Is The Is Are arrives as the new double album from the Brooklyn band DIIV, the birth child of Zachary Cole Smith (Darwin Deez’s touring guitarist). It’s their first album release since 2012 album Oshin.
An album that tiptoes a tightrope of indie rock and shoegaze, every track has clear influences of each genre. As it takes another step towards the light of the album’s end, it leans left and right almost falling into the pit of one genre, but it’s balance is returned step by step as the album progresses.
First track on the album ‘Out of Mind’ is a mashup up of some of Birmingham’s biggest indie bands on the scene, Swim Deep and Peace, taking on a similar sound of clinky guitar riffs and soft dreamy vocal melodies taking on the form of pure indie rock whereas second track, ‘Under the Sun’, leans towards a shoegaze influenced sound of a slow build up before bursting its banks into the main line. This track has definitely moved away from the generic indie rock that seems to get churned out over and over again.
As a whole, the album paints a vivid picture of the sound that most contemporary indie bands are building their EP and albums on. Zachary Cole Smith has taken this album in a new direction from his first album which was heavily influenced by Nirvana, world music, C86 bands and krautrock which is not the case for this album. Four years on in 2016, the sound of indie bands have become increasingly influenced by the 90s Britpop era.
This is not an album that defines either genre in any particular way, instead slotting into place as just another album to give indie kids a dose of their beloved genre.