by Kate Burgess

The shoegaze charms of Zachary Cole Smith are coming to Thekla on the 22nd September. And what better way to treat yourself for getting half way through the first week back than by hopping on the train and consolidating the end of summer with melancholic summery dirge, the twanging of nostalgia and lazy, hazy nights.

Is the Is Are is DIIV’s sophomore offering, coming out this year after a 4 year hiatus. The album, flavored with some really nice DIY flourishes that contribute to its wistful sound, has been heralded as “ambitious… [with] moments of exquisite beauty.” It’s 17 tracks long, and the jury is still out regarding whether it fulfils its promise of (self) projected Nirvana level of success or sits comfortably in its execution of US indie.

Its dream-pop riffs accompany themes on the perils of addiction, working both in its evocative listenability and its odd incompatibility with this lyrical content – this is perhaps its most interesting claim on ‘being another indie band’ actually worth checking out. Perhaps because many of us, versed in the ways of Peace, Mac de Marco and their predecessors from tender ages, find it so easy to enjoy output such as DIIV we should fly the nest to less wooden, feathery environs beyond (a.k.a other genres- apologies for the inelegance of my metaphor).  Yet is simple enjoyment and aural nostalgia in a new body (band) not valid reason enough to go and head bop and sway in the belly of a boat? After all, albums such as Is the Is Are, with drawn out grungey guitar solos and habitual drums, triumph in live settings. Don’t miss out.