Zachary Cole Smith’s creative side project, independent from Brooklyn group Beach Fossils, masters the art of sun saturated dream pop and lazy guitars. From the strangely entitled opener ‘(Druun)’ to closing track ‘Home’ these forty minutes can be spent beautifully by closing one’s eyes and drifting into a nostalgic reverie, recalling the happy summer days of years gone by.
Oshin’s chief technique for inspiring such a reaction is the ceaseless application of caressingly reverb-y guitars, pushing the sparse yet endearing vocals lower down the mix. In addition the combination of simple melodies and short songs (‘Air Conditioning’ is the lengthiest at a mere 4 minutes and 30 seconds) ensure that the prevailing languid, carefree riffs don’t become mired or repetitive, as can happen if a band gets too ambitious. This refreshingly unusual feature is central to the consistently buoyant vibe that is promoted throughout, though the sickly sweet guitars are broken up by uplifting harmonies on title track ‘Oshin (Subsume)’ and the punchier drums of ‘Air Conditioning’… well, they’re sort of broken up… okay, not really.
Relentless reverb is really the biggest drawback that can be made of DIIV: those summery memories become tiresome around about song nine (of thirteen), leaving your hapless DYC reviewer longing for the winter beats of I Break Horses instead. A slight lack of originality is another tentative criticism – tentative, because it really is basically impossible to make a perfectly original lo-fi record – but nevertheless Oshin is an attractive prospect for those who like Slowdive but wish that they had written some slightly higher tempo songs.
Oshin came out on the 26th June on Captured Records. The video for latest single ‘How Long Have You Known’ is below.
By Barney Horner
Dance Yrself Clean