On its full-length debut, Brooklyn dream-pop band DIIV shows that you can make an album that’s all about vibes—positive, floating-on-a-surfboard vibes. The album is titled Oshin, and this homophone for “ocean” befits the 13 tracks, which rely more an ambiance and melodic sound waves than they do on lyrics. Together, these songs seamlessly trickle from one to the next in a perfect collection of sounds, showcasing both complexity and musical depth in this mostly instrumental music.
Oshin starts with “(Druun),” a mellow yet enchanting combination of rhythm and lead guitar. Establishing a clear tone, it takes charge with its dreamy guitar parts and leads the album down an explosive path. Tracks like “Air Conditioning” and “Earthboy” seem to have taken notes, following in suit with the haunting tonality of “(Druun).” Though the lyrics are difficult to make out, Zachary Cole Smith’s vocals blend with the heavy effects perfectly on “Earthboy,” making it one of Oshin’s standout tracks.
Though notably chilled-out, there are times on the record where DIIV strays from its relaxed feel and picks up the pace. “Past Lives,” a dancey number filled with repetitive guitar licks and a swaying bassline, manages to keep the good feelings rolling while creating the possibility for some serious hip shaking. “Doused” does the same, however, with a much more prominent bassline and a bit more speed. The delayed guitars and Smith’s repetitive lyrics make the track fast-paced and energetic enough to be the album’s highlight.
Oshin comes to a close with “Home,” a complex track that echoes the musical intensity of instrumental kings Explosions In The Sky, only this time, with vocals. The soft and warm guitars blanketed with Smith’s quiet vocals give the song almost a celestial sound. “You’ll never have a home,” repeated over and over throughout the song plays on this transcendental feeling creating the perfect closer for Oshin.