Listen: DIIV - Dopamine
Finally, DIIV is back.
Earlier in the year, Zachary Cole Smith mentioned that DIIV would be releasing a new album soon, but considering they haven’t dropped any new material since 2012, fans might not have been getting their hopes up. Cole Smith, a self-confessed ‘control feak’, wasn’t kidding - the former Beach Fossils guitarist has been quiet for some time now, but DIIV have finally dropped a new single Dopamine on Soundcloud this week. The track is bright, emotional and warm, lacking some of the anti-corporate post-punk aesthetic of their highly successful first album Oshin. With amazing tracks like Doused, Human and Sometime, and well pretty much the entire album, Oshin was one of the releases of the year in 2012 according to Pitchfork (number 40) and Stereogum (number 22), leaving Zachary Cole Smith with a serious hurdle to improve on his first effort.
Dopamine is distinctly more beach pop, retaining the dreamy shoegazing and huge jangly soundscape that DIIV do so well. Zachary Cole Smith’s voice sounds utterly amazing, he has clearly made an effort to make it sound brighter and more human, compared to the sporadic, reverb-drenched wailing in Oshin, what he claims is ‘deliberate music’.
These are welcome changes, showing Cole Smith’s self-awareness – an awareness of what made that first record so damn good and awareness of where there was some room to grow. Dopamine is a familiar reminder that the eccentric Cole Smith is a producer with a huge passion for creating meaing, this time through his lyrics, and he treats the creative process with a spiritual adoration and love. Back in 2013, Cole Smith even said “I'm the only person who I can trust to produce this record”. Just yesterday he dedicated the upcoming album to his equally-eccentric love companion Sky Ferreira, and has mentioned that it will be a stronger lyrical representation of him than Oshin.
DIIV will release their highly anticipated album Is the Is Are in October via Captured Tracks. Listen to Dopamine below via Soundcloud: