Deep Sea Diver – History Speaks
They say artists have their entire life to write their first album. Deep Sea Diver’s principal songwriter Jessica Dobson has already laid down more than 2 albums worth of tunes to tape with only 2009’s New Caves EP ever available for public consumption. Despite previous roadblocks, the band is finally ready to break out in 2012 with the release of their full length debut HISTORY SPEAKS.
Her music has gone through quite a transformation from her beginnings of a humble singer-songwriter to the confident guitar-wielding front women of the present. You can still hear hints of the past though in songs like ‘Keep It Moving’ and ‘Why Must A Man Change’ with their whispered tones and leisurely lines. As much as these two serve as a beacon from the past, they don’t forget to incorporate the new facets of the band’s burgeoning repertoire and ultimately function as the tip of the iceberg that is HISTORY SPEAKS rumbling to life lead by album opener ‘Ships’ (how was that for a metaphor!).
Songs like the lead single ‘You Go Running’ and ‘Weekend Wars’ exhibit the more upbeat, danceable style anchored (there I go again) by the rhythm section of Peter Mansen on drums and John Raines on bass. The addition of Raines and Mansen incorporate essential elements that push the jaunty pop melodies of songs like ‘NWO’ to greater heights with driving backbeats and an unforgettable bass line ushering in the last third of the song.
Dobson doesn’t let her supporting cast take all the credit for expanding the sound though. Taking to the piano on the album’s more somber moments such as standout ‘Tracks of the Green Line’ and its sparse partner-in-crime ‘The Watchmen.’ Her voice has never sounded so fragile or exposed as she does on these two. Without knocking past ballads such as ‘Confidence’ or the haunting ‘Pillars Of Fire’ off their pedestals, she has elevated her sound into a new echelon with inclusion of lush strings and Nick Cave-esque backing vocals.
As powerful as these moments are, don’t let them get you too down ruminating about the past because as the yelps of joy that adorn ‘You Go Running’ would imply, Deep Sea Diver have never been in a better state. HISTORY SPEAKS displays the band musically flexing new muscles and firing on all cylinders. Puns aside (see ‘Keep It Moving,’ ‘You Go Running’), all signs point to the band’s continued full-steam-ahead approach into the future and if justice has anything to say, into a larger audience.— Matt Zimmerman, 03/05/2012