“DIIV brought shoegaze psych-rock to The Wiltern for their Los Angeles stop on the Desert DazeCaravan with Ariel Pink. Building on the intro by a solid minute, they opened their set with the titular track off their latest album, Is The Is Are. As the first lyrics spilled from Zachary Cole Smith’s lips the pit opened and grew chaotic. This kept up for the entirety of the set. Their stoic performance became a soundtrack to the homemade visuals being projected behind them; shot with a shitty camcorder, lagging as Quicktime Player struggled to keep up, featuring the mundane sights of life on tour interspersed with naked woman and boyish humor. Heavy heads rolled and lolled on hunched spines, but every now and then you could spot them craning around to watch their nostalgic home movie, too.
DIIV is currently on tour with Ariel Pink on the following dates: 5/1 Dallas, TX @ Canton Hall 5/3 Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall Moon Room 5/4 Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf 5/5 Phoenix, AZ @ Van Buren also w/ Acid Mothers Temple & more 5/6 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues 5/8 San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel 5/10 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom 5/11 Seattle WA @ Neptune Theatre 5/12 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom 5/15 Santa Barbara, CA @ Soho 5/16 Tijuana, Mexico @ Black Box *** DIIV afterparty @ Mous Tache*** 5/17 Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern *** DIIV afterparty @ Resident*** 5/18 San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theater 5/19 Santa Cruz, CA @ The Catalyst
The debut album from Captured Tracks stalwarts DIIV didn’t intentionally set out to channel dream pop. Yes, they were fans of Ride, but frontman Zachary Cole Smith cited this particular album’s inspirations as krautrock and Malian music. Yet from the opening gambit of the instrumental track “(Druun)” to the distant vocals of “Past Lives”—vocals that sound like they're being teleported from another dimension—DIIV quickly found themselves cited as revivalists of dream pop. The record plays out like an inversion of a late-’80s Sub Pop grunge record, taking the dirge and muddiness of guitars, drums, and bass and oversaturating that in blissed-out ambience. It ebbs and flows in a manner that often makes it difficult to distinguish tracks, driven largely by rhythm, echo, and a sense of wonderment. Lyrically, it’s not trying to offer much in the way of catharsis; instead, it provides a bedrock for you to come, lie down, and sink deeper into whatever emotional state you’re in. Isn’t that what dreams are made of? –Eve Barlow Listen:DIIV, “Doused”
A silver van with California plates has just pulled up outside Brooklyn’s Murmrr Theatre, off Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza, and behind the wheel is a familiar face. And yet, different.
It’s not just that DIIV’s Zachary Cole Smith now sports two-tone locks, his familiar bleached blond hair newly offset by long dark roots. He still favors a loose, button-down shirt -- on this day a bright red one. And certainly the face is the same -- even at 32, he perpetually looks like he’s going on 18. But it’s the smile on that face, and a seemingly boundless energy, that hint at the real Story of Cole 2017: he’s six months sober.