For me, what distinguishes DIIV from their peers on Captured Tracks is that despite having internalized every note of the Cure's Disintegration (either on purpose or by osmosis), the band is anything but backward-looking.
I cannot stop listening to DIIV's Oshin. At all. The album is on an endless loop at my home. My wife is about to throw out our stereo system. Either that, or she is about to throw me out. If she does the latter, I can only hope that she'll allow me to take my DIIV record to the local Best Western. Given that she's tired of listening to it, I'm quite sure she'll do that.
I heard about DIIV when they made a tiny splash back in June 2012, right when Oshin was released. Despite gobbling up much of the assorted goodness that Captured Tracks, the band's label, has released, I didn't immediately purchase the record or listen to it online. Then, in September 2012, I went to see Wild Nothing at Washington, DC's Rock and Roll Hotel. DIIV and Blonds opened. All three bands were great, but DIIV had me at "Past Lives". They completed me.
This is why my wife is currently tossing some of my T-shirts onto the city sidewalk from our third floor window.
For me, what distinguishes DIIV from their peers on Captured Tracks is that despite having internalized every note of the Cure's Disintegration (either on purpose or by osmosis), the band is anything but backward-looking. Their record -- and definitely their live performances -- boast a vicious undercurrent that can turn summery bliss into surprising moments of fury, which is a pretty rare thing for a contemporary indie act to do. Even though most of Oshin is cut from the same forlorn blanket to which labelmates Beach Fossils and Wild Nothing so sleepily cling, DIIV are not nostalgic copycats. Rather, they are buoyant, joyous, and energized. If nothing else, the band's live shows demonstrate how much they love playing music. I, for one, love hearing them do just that.
And to be clear, so does my wife. She just doesn't want to hear "Doused" again today. But I do: