DIIV’s third full-length was spawned from the most intense transitional period the band has seen since forming in 2011. Founding member Devin Ruben Perez is out; Colin Caulfield moved from keyboards to bass and is assisting Zachary Cole Smith with writing. Cole Smith is two years into a solid new life of recovery, and has found a way to mitigate this intense change as a songwriter ("Our last record was about recovery in general, but I truthfully didn’t buy in"). DIIV wrote and recorded Deceiver together in Los Angeles, a first for a band which has primarily operated as the vehicle for Cole Smith’s solitary songwriting. Caulfield and Cole Smith both worked out demos together, and then arranged every song together with the rest of the band. Cole Smith: "I’ve known everyone in the band for ten years plus separately and together as DIIV for at least the past five years. On Deceiver, I’m talking about working for the relationships in my life, repairing them, and accepting responsibility for the places I’ve failed them. I had to re-approach the band. It wasn’t restarting from a clean slate, but it was a new beginning. It took time—as it did with everybody else in my life—but we all grew together and learned how to communicate and collaborate." DIIV sound more coherent on Deceiver than ever before, a logical continuation of the trajectory of Is The Is Are, which peeled away some of the dense reverb which characterized nearly every song on Oshiin. Tracks like "Acheron" and "Skin Game" are some of the band’s dryest, with Cole’s vocals lilting weightlessly over jangly guitars like some of the best Stone Roses tunes (wait, is he saying "I wanna be your doll," or "I wanna be adored"?). Produced by Sonny Diperri, 10 tracks in total.
- black vinyl pressing
- includes printed foldout insert + obi strip
- music label: Captured Tracks 2019
reviewed by sleve mcdichael 07/2019