#23 on the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar
History Speaks by Deep Sea Diver
And now for the first truly new and exciting thing to come out of recorded music in 2012. Deep Sea Diver, a three-piece band featuring lead vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist/songwriter Jessica Dobson, her husband Peter Mansen on drums, and bassist John Raines, has been on a long, long, LONG road that brought them to the release of their debut full-length, the fantastic History Speaks, in February of this year. An example, from an article from the OC Weekly back in July 2006:
If ours was a logical universe, a universe in which every action was followed by an ordered and patterned outcome—and every decision by a predictable consequence—then Jessica Dobson would be heading back to school right about now. But life is at best consistent in its inconsistency (and the life of a musician even more so) and so presently Jessica Dobson—a cute-though-normal 22-year-old from La Habra—is not filling out college applications, or even job applications, but rather is spending her days inside Avast! Recording studios in Seattle, midway through recording a second full album for Atlantic Records.
Oh, and by the way, her first album? The one that was supposed to be her debut on Atlantic? She spent three months on it last summer, but didn’t like it very much by the end. So she scrapped it.
Trouble is, that “second full album for Atlantic Records” mentioned above? It didn’t happen, either. Chalk it up to artistic differences, again. How a band can keep slogging away for eight years (beginning in 2004), through multiple recording sessions, hundreds of live shows with little more than an EP (New Caves came out in 2009) to show for it is beyond me. That requires a level of sticktoitiveness that I am lacking.
But boy am I glad they stuck around. This album is a fantastic “debut.” Dobson’s voice is a cleaner, less-shrieking Karen O. She’s close to PJ Harvey territory. And the musicians backing her up are amazing as well. The song structure for the album mimics the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and PJ Harvey as well, but those aren’t as listenable, as engrossing, as this album is. The video above, for their song “NWO,” is a good representation of the rest of the album.
I wonder if the other recorded and scrapped albums are as good as this new one. With that much time devoted to recording, I can only imagine the band has a lot more bullets left in the chamber. And they’re slowly building a fan base. It’s taking longer than I expected it would, but so long as Dobson doesn’t implode the whole thing by continuing to throw her artistic license around in a self-destructive manner, this band is going to be huge. Download it now!
24. A Different Ship by Here We Go Magic
25. Negotiations by the Helio Sequence
26. Moms by Menomena
27. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
28. Shields by Grizzly Bear
29. Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun by The Wooden Sky
30. Fragrant World by Yeasayer
31. Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells