On the debut LP by Brooklyn four-piece DIIV (formerly known as Dive, but still pronounced the same way), frontman and songwriter Zachary Cole Smith drifts between the dark and dreamy, channeling bits of new wave, '80s indie-pop, and Krautrock with ethereal instrumentals and reverb-drenched vocals. On first listen to Oshin, what stands center stage are the guitars — meandering but intricate melodies, lush cyclical layers that set the record's distinct mood. The focus on guitars makes sense, since Smith is also a touring guitarist for Beach Fossils. On every repeated spin, though, the record's lyrics reveal themselves more and more. Certain songs feel like listening in on some old diary entries or lost letters that Cole didn't want you to hear: "Past Lives" ("Nowhere to crawl but to your past life and hide from it all"), "Earthboy" ("Come along with me and be my secret side that no one sees"), "Follow" ("I'm listening through tapes for a flash of your face"). There's an air of secrecy and mystery to it all. Smith seems to struggle with whether he wants to write emotional pop songs or dark experimental soundscapes, but the push and pull between the two sentiments is ultimately gorgeous.
DIIV + BEST COAST + THOSE DARLINS | Royale, 279 Tremont St, Boston | July 18 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $20 | 617.866.8933