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
Due to feedback by readers, there is a need for a second installment of Nutshell’s top albums to watch for in the coming months. So here’s some albums you can look forward to, and (possibly) be hearing very soon.
Arctic Monkeys – The Sheffield quartet announced not long before the release of “R U Mine?” that they wouldn’t be returning to the studio until 2013 to record their fifth LP. Back in February was when Alex Turner confirmed that they were planning to hit the studio this Summer after they concluded their tour, rather than taking the year off. The Suck It And See tour concluded last week, so the Arctic Monkeys could be in the studio as we speak to record their fifth album, which is supposed to mirror the “dirty side” of Suck It And See.
Passion Pit (Gossamer, due out July 24th) – The three year wait for the follow-up to Manners is finally over, and with the release of “Take A Walk” and “I’ll Be Alright” (both of which are the exact same length) are leaving fans hoping for a phenomenal sophomore album.
Freelance Whales – Following up 2010’s debut Weathervanes will not be an easy challenge, but Freelance Whales is very vocal about embracing the second album jitters. All five band members have been involved in the writing process, and band member Jacob Hyman says it “rocks harder and better”. The band is pushing for a Summer release and an early Fall tour, so keep your eyes (and ears) opened.
Broken Bells – James Mercer and Danger Mouse have been raving about their second album since back in 2010, and after Mercer’s reinstatement of an indie king with The Shins’ Port of Morrow, it’s something people can really start talking about. There is already confirmation that the duo has songs in the works, and a few that are done. Mercer also told Billboard a few weeks back that Danger Mouse has been working with U2 in Dublin and The Shins are still touring, but once the dust settles a new Broken Bells record will be recorded, and may be out before Port of Morrow gets followed up by The Shins.
The Flaming Lips – When they aren’t off playing eight shows in a 24 hour period, The Flaming Lips actually have enough down time to put together an album. After debuting a new song on Thursday, frontman Wayne Coyne said that the band has been working on a new LP, and it will be out by the end of 2012.
If you have any more suggestions of albums to keep your eyes peeled for, comment or tweet it! @NSMusicGroup