If The Cure don’t deliver a new album this year then DIIV has you covered with their sophomore record, Is The Is Are. Honing in on that Disintegration-era lushness and the sweet, innocent meanderings of Boys Don’t Cry, Is The Is Are at first is almost like a step back to the beginning with its almost inherent simplicity. Delve deeper, though, and listeners will find an album that is even more dense than Oshin and a natural evolution for DIIV.
While openers “Out of Mind” and “Under the Sun” might lull listeners into a false sense that nothing has changed in the world of DIIV, they both merely serve as precursors to the true meat and potatoes of Is The Is Are. Namely the three ‘(song)’ songs which serves as tentpoles over the course of the album.
“Bent (Roi’s Song)” is first up and is dream pop incarnate focusing on a Porl Thompson-esque guitar wail, “Blue Boredom (Sky’s Song)” is like an updated Sonic Youth classic with Sky Ferreira popping in to channel Kim Gordon while “Mire (Grant’s Song)” is filled with feedback and woe and layered vox from Zachary Cole Smith creating a sonic mania at times.
Peppered throughout Is The Is Are are tracks like the irresistible “Dopamine” and “Valentine” reminding us why we fell in love with DIIV in the first place. As a whole, Is The Is Are is a heavy record and a stark reminder of how intense and relevant DIIV is to the musical landscape.