DIIV: Deceiver.

6 10 2019




Just to make it clear before I go into a possible nonsensical rant about how great the new DIIV record is, I just need to be clear that this is their record of their career. We can dwell on past records if we want, but trust me- this is the record of their career.

The record opens with the glorious and soothing, Horsehead. It’s like early RIDE but with My Bloody Valentine heaviness (Sonny Diperri produced it, so there you go!) It is such a powerful start to the record, and when it kicks in- it really gets you in the gut. It is most certainly my favourite opening on a record this year. It has so much determination and beauty in it. It is 5 glorious minutes of heaven. The remaining 9 songs have a lot to live up to. Fortunately I have utter faith in DIIV and know that this record is perfect from start to finish.

The 10 songs on this poetic and soulful record is a proper headphone experience. You have to make sure your first listen to this record is via headphones, and maybe your second too. But when you are ready, play it so the world can hear. Soak in that beautiful reverb and distorted vocals. Let the reverb take you on this captivating journey, and don’t let go of wwhatever the record makes you feel.



Deceiver is a record that is an ode to recovery, acceptance and the desire to do, and be better. I won’t delve into Zachary’s personal life as it isn’t the place, but if you’re a fan of DIIV you will know the struggles he has had and what it took to make this record. Of all their records to date, Deceiver is the most exposed and vulnerable. Zachary’s voice at times on this record (especially on Like Before You Were Born) his vocals have the same gentle tone to it like Daniel Johns. I absolutely adore his vocals on this, and it sounds like a sweet lullaby. His vocals have always been soothing, but on this record he’s truly outdone himself. The whole band have outdone themselves, and I can definitely say that this is one of the most important records of the year. One listen, and you’re just hooked. In the 44 minutes that this record has you for, you feel like you are floating through time and space. DIIV take you on this gorgeous journey where it is okay to be completely open and brutally honest. I mean, it is anyway but some think it isn’t but whatever.

There is so much darkness on this record, but the way it has been produced and put together makes you put it to one side, and you see and hear different sides of this record. Like I mentioned, it is a really vulnerable record with some tense subject matter but it’s done in a way that makes you just connect. It’s a record that is easy to love and completely connect with. One of the songs that Zachary has spoken about is Skin Game and how it is a dialogue between two characters, and when you dissect the lyrics and take them in, you truly pick up on this. For me, the chorus is so powerful; “Fighting to get through the door, but I can’t live like this anymore. They gave us wings to fly, but then they took away the sky.” Given what Zachary has been through, you can picture him having the conversation with himself or just anyone who has/is struggling with addiction or any form of demon. It’s a tough listen, but the beauty in the record allows you to just massively respect the band for being this open.

I’ve gone back and forth with trying to pick a song that resonates the most with me, and I think I’m going to have to side with Between Tides. One line on this song just seems to have stuck with me more than most, and quite possibly more than any song I’ve heard all year. “I’m just waiting for the storm to die out” it is so simple and to the point, and sometimes that is all you need. There is so much sadness on this record but there is also so much hope. I think this line just sums it up. It’s the acceptance of how bad things are, yet knowing it may just pass. It has to pass. I guess that’s the kind of thing I need to hear right now. My storm may never pass, but I have to wait it out. I’ve got no other choice.



DIIV have made the record of their career; the songs Zachary and Colin have written together are just masterpieces. They are the purest form of poetry, and the most hard-hitting songs we may hear all year. The production is nothing short of divine. It is a heavenly body of art, and I cannot wait to see this record live (providing the dates don’t sell out before I get a ticket!) I have loved DIIV since the start, and I am so utterly proud of what they have done on this record, and how unafraid they have been to push themselves on this. They have absolutely outdone themselves on this record. I have never heard Ben, Colin, Zachary and Andrew sound so good and so together. This is such an important record for many reasons. Acheron closes the record, and if you ever wanted to hear what a phenomenal group of musicians sound like- then soak up this 7 minute beauty. It will leave you covered in goose-bumps and in awe of what you have heard.

If you’ve never listened to DIIV before- start from the beginning then work your way on to Deceiver and you will hear just how much they have grown, and developed a sound that is so sacred to them.

Put your headphones on, turn the lights out and play Deceiver until you feel calm again. It’s a record for the soul; a sacred listen that you cannot help but lose yourself in completely, and utterly.

Jesse Ruins.

14 04 2012

Until now, my favourite thing to have ever come from Japan (musically) was a band called BORIS. I’ve still got a hell of a lot of love for BORIS. I love how noisy and thrashy they are. So bold and so incredibly loud. On the flip side of loving music that is like this, I love music that is still dark (I love music that most would label as “songs to top yourself to.” Not because I’m morbid, far from it- I just think we need to go to the darkside more often.) I love music that is dark but is disguised heavily by synths and the like. I don’t enjoy music that is just synths alone. That’s just a cop-out. Have some guitars and drums layered on top of it, make it good.

This is why I’m probably fast falling in love with Jesse Ruins.

Jesse Ruins started up back in 2010 and they are Nobuyuki Sakuma and Nah.  Originally it was just Nobuyuki’s solo project but in 2011, Nah joined. I hate writing the background to bands- I just want to talk about the music. So…

The music is incredible. It is so good, I’m not entirely sure I want to listen to anything else right now. So they have that dark synth sound like my favourite, Cold Cave but they have delicate vocals that are so haunting. It will give your body goose-bumps. It will make you want to flail around for a bit. If you experience a comedown from this, just keep playing their music over and over to avoid such a draining feeling. I fully sympathise with you if you experience this. I’m going to avoid it by, for once, taking my own advice and just playing Jesse Ruins non stop for a while.

Jesse Ruins send you off into some kind of trance. A trance that can only be triggered by hearing something beautiful. You stick to your artificial means of finding euphoria, I’ll listen to music like this. It just sends you to some kind of place where all you see are flashing lights and angels dressed in battered leather jackets guiding you towards something you have never experienced before. I know this is all in my head, and has been conjured up by hearing something truly wonderful.

You can add Japan next to New York and L.A. for creating music that is just utterly mind-blowing. Not to mention inspiring. Jesse Ruins just give you this feeling, and give you this state of mind that you’ve never felt before. I’m so in awe of them. If you hear anything by them in a club- dance. But don’t dance how you are expected. Throw your limbs about as if you are possessed. Dance as if you are trying to get yourself from out of your body. I like it when people dance like that, but don’t be too drunk. Just take yourself to that place where only a band can take you. Because let’s face it, a person probably can’t. Not when there is music like this.

I really really love A Bookshelf Sinks Into The Sand. I’d say that for now, that’s probably my favourite track. I’m going to keep playing Jesse Ruins and imagine I am anywhere but where I am.

You can listen to their sounds at: http://jesseruins.bandcamp.com/

They are currently signed to the amazing Captured Tracks, and a full length record will be out real SOON.