By: Max Burke
Seattle-based Deep Sea Diver is bound to be compared to another female-led three person band: Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Jessica Dobson of DSD, like Karen O of YYY, can belt out a strong rock chorus one moment and then sing a tender ballad the next. Each debut album—which History Speaks is—is just over 37 minutes in length and offers compact, instantly listenable rock songs. But the comparisons end there; at least in terms of their first albums. History is more musically complex and less enveloped by distortion and feedback than Fever to Tell. It almost feels like a Walkmen album sung with the vocal diversity of St. Vincent.
It is sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what Dobson is singing about. I’m still trying to discern what “my heart is strong, but my will is weak” (“The Watchmen”) means. And I’m unsure of who is on the run in the infectious “You Go Running”. But the mystery is probably a good thing. It keeps one guessing. Other songs are more straightforward: themes of love lost and love-found and all the difficulty in between. The piano-backed intro to “NWO” is beautiful, and the dreamy-to-dissonant outro of “History Speaks” is equally striking. While History may not be groundbreaking work, it is a strong debut album and worth a Listen. You can stream and/or buy the album here.
Highlights: “NWO”, “You Go Running”, “History Speaks”