Zachary Cole Smith’s straying project from Beach Fossils stumbled upon its name by way of Nirvana influence. Diiv (originally spelled “Dive”, but changed out of respect to a band with the same moniker) isn’t the type of music you’d necessarily expect from a Brooklyn-based artist. Smith’s sound longs for West coast ocean waves and long drives with the windows down along the coast. Despite hailing from the East coast, the front-man spent his summer in an AC-less studio apartment to perfect his craft — hence the implicative sound. Diiv’s emphasis is on the music, not the lyrics, and unless they’re stated in the title, you probably won’t understand what Smith is chanting. But somehow the message is still translated, be it stoicism, confidence, or tension.
Diiv stands strong as a founder in the transition away from music that is overstated and obvious. Smith leaves a lot more to the imagination, which, in a world where most everything you believe about music is spoon-fed to you, is a refreshing break. Whatever subtleties are implied, Diiv is organic dream-pop that’s cohesive in structure, but open for interpretation. Whether they’re recognized for it after first listen or not, the band is bold. And they’re paving a new road for musicians across the board.
[Diiv performs from 3:05 to 3:50 pm on Sunday, May 26 at the Bigfoot stage.]