This week’s session features music by LA based, by way of Brooklyn New York, shoegaze/indie rock band, DIIV. DIIV performed two songs, “Horsehead” and “Blankenship” from their latest album Deceiver accompanied by art created by Ben Newman.
DIIV formed in New York City in 2011. After playing with various bands in the area, vocalist/ guitarist Zachary Cole Smith craved a space for his expression and music. A blend of his eclectic taste and inspiration. Over the past nine years, the lineup has shifted, but today Andrew Bailey (guitar), Colin Caulfield (bass), Ben Newman (drums), and Smith round out DIIV.
In 2012 they released their debut album, Oshin via Captured Tracks. Smith wrote and produced the album. In regards to the album’s lyrics, Smith admitted he was hiding a bit. “I didn’t want it to be about me as a person. The lyrics were almost like universal truths, not personal.” As a songwriter, a lot has changed. DIIV’s 2019 LP, Deceiver, took the opposite approach. For Smith, the songwriting process became cathartic and a large part of his recovery from substance abuse. Via a statement to fans, Smith described the album as “the soundtrack to personal resurrection under the heavy weight of metallic catharsis.”
The newfound vulnerability caught online critics’ attention. Paste Magazine praised the album saying, “Cole’s experiences in rehab became the inspiration for the group’s latest record, Deceiver, and while the album displays the group’s darkest sound yet, it also ends up being their most earnest.”
Now in 2020, DIVV is doing better than ever as individuals and as a collective. You can catch them on tour now and stream, Deceiver here.
The art featured in this Sidestripe Sessions episode comes from Ben Newman. Ben Newman is a talented artist and musician. Newman joined DIIV in early 2015 and provided back cover and label paintings for the band’s 2019 release, Deceiver.
Vans Sidestripe Sessions are a global series celebrating collaboration, diversity, and expression through music and art. The two-song sessions feature performances from Vans’ extended family of musicians, backdropped by original art installations from emerging artists. Each session is unique in sight and sound.
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