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DIIV in, the water's fine. Seems like we've been anticipating this Oshin forever, but we're happy it's finally here. Maybe it's just because we've been following DIIV's emergence for about a year now, only a few months after Cole Smith sat in a Bushwick loft and conceived of the hybrid sound of the new band, its swirling, chiming guitars and driving beats--a motorik kind of haze, if you will, a kraut-dream, maybe.
A year, several singles and a ridiculous number of live shows later, the band and its album constitute one of the most exciting debuts of the year. "Doused", "Sometime", and the pop-friendly "How Long Have You Known?" (and its blow-up-the-blender video) have gotten the lion's share of the attention up to now, but also of note are "Human", "Wait" and the seasonal "Air Conditioning". You can hear all about the making of the record, the formation of the band, Cole's higher education troubles and his familial connection to a couple of timeless commercial jingles in our recent edition of Face Time with the band.
You can also see what some of the other pundits have had to say about Oshin:
Drowned in Sound: Pitched somewhere between physical pleasure and mental torture, is Oshin, dream-weaving, benevolent, sadistic puppet masters Diiv playing havoc with your sense of contentedness.
AV Club: Its hypnotic guitar exchanges evoke Johnny Marr’s peerless melodic sense and the precision of Television, had that band started a decade or so later. The record’s best tracks—“How Long Have You Known,” “Past Lives,” “Earthboy”—balance the flowing textures with structural integrity that refuses to be washed away.
Pitchfork: Oshin is notable for what it leaves to the imagination; not just about its own communicative aims, but about DIIV as well. Barely year ago, it was Smith's solo project, a fairly standard dream-pop act. The impact of DIIV's vibrant and muscular rhythm section makes all the difference. They might not rock, but Oshin always offers tactile resistance.
A special band and a stellar debut, from a young musical shaman. Those Inuit images on the record covers are no accident. The water is more than fine. Oshin, from DIIV.