Jessica Dobson, known for her work as one of the current guitarists for The Shins, has been working on what started as a solo project in 2009. After coming up with a band consisting of her husband on drums and John Raines on bass to tour the New Caves EP, Deep Sea Diver was born. That touring band went in studio to record the band’s first LP History Speaks, which is a quick way to solidify Dobson as a talented musician in her own right.
The album opens up with “Ships”, a song that coincidentally enough has many similarities to something you would hear by The Shins. It also helps quickly establish the band’s unique sound, however, with Dobson’s vocals in particular sticking out. “Weekend Wars” is what follows, with a more jazzy feel that draws a lot of comparisons to some of Miles Kane’s solo work. This song features Beatles-style instrumental breaks and riffs along with vocals that cut through the song with sharp tone. “NWO” is a slower song on the album (that later picks up) with heavy use of rim clicks and pianos, with a loud and powerful bass line. Definitely a highlight of the album, it has impressive musical interludes throughout. “The Watchmen” is another slow song, but is still entrancing due to ghostly vocal harmonies and night club-style piano riffs.
“You Go Running” picks the pace back up drastically, with a song that encases the indie genre in just over 4 minutes. Jessica Dobson hits all ends of her wide vocal range with one of the most upbeat and danceable songs heard in a while. “Keep It Moving” goes back to the jazzy feel heard earlier on the album, also infused with some of today’s indie-folk like The Head and The Heart. This song is easily another one of the gems on History Speaks, and it’s definitely one to check out. “Why Must a Man Change?” keeps the jazzy feel, and also goes back to the aspects comparable to The Shins, but again embraces the fact that Deep Sea Diver is their own band. “Tracks of the Green Line” is the ballad of this album, utilizing a piano, acoustic guitar, and a powerful string section to paint a picture of bottled up emotion and pain. The catch is, it actually talks about Dobson’s happy life, and it often repeats the phrase “How could it get better?” The album closes with title track “History Speaks”, a 6+ minute dream-sequence like song that is reminiscent of Florence and the Machine. A good album closer, it takes every aspect of the previous eight songs and jam packs it into one great finale.
Deep Sea Diver has been forming a name for itself since 2009, which not only saw two releases from them, but also saw frontwoman Jessica Dobson join forces with The Shins. The band’s debut LP History Speaks has a sound that takes aspect from all over the musical spectrum and slaps them together into a 9-song album, and an all around solid start. Deep Sea Diver proved with History Speaks that even though they may not be now, they will soon be a force to be reckoned with in the musical world. History Speaks gets an 81/100 and you can pick it up now.
History Speaks Tracklisting:
- Weekend Wars
- The Watchmen
- You Go Running
- Keep It Moving
- Why Must a Man Change?
- Tracks of the Green Line
- History Speaks