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The last time I saw DIIV perform live, it was when they opened for My Bloody Valentine at Hammerstein Ballroom. It wasn’t the ideal atmosphere to catch Zachary Cole Smith’s band live, but they played two new songs that night (one of which was “Dust”), marking it as the beginning of phase two of DIIV’s career.

Here we are in spring 2015, and DIIV have just announced that their anticipated sophomore album is entitled Is the Is Are, and will see a release later this fall via Captured Tracks. Following the announcement, the band played an intimate late night show (starting a little after midnight) at Baby’s All Right to showcase some of the new songs off the album.

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Opening the show was Sunflower Bean, the young New York City rock band who I’ve seen quite a few times at Baby’s throughout the past few months. I’m no where close to being sick of them, but still excited by each and every song they play live. Their songs continue to rock just as hard and get taken to new places with each performance. They’ll play their last New York City show for a while this Friday at The Studio at Webster Hall, as they head into the studio to complete the album. If you want to go catch them pre-album touring cycle, now’s the time.

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After tacking the stage DIIV leader Zachary Cole Smith told us that they’d be playing almost all of the new album tonight. He didn’t have to say it outright, but it was clear that DIIV wouldn’t be playing any of their older songs (minus “Dust,” which is the only previous known song still being played). It’s clear that DIIV have moved on to a new era in their career, trying to permanently move away from all the drama that previously followed them. This new era of DIIV featured a lineup that included: Devin Ruben Perez, Andrew Bailey, Colin Caulfield, and a new drummer named Ben.

In between songs Smith repeated the same phrase of “Thank you this is another new song, we’re called DIIV.” Most bands when sharing new songs for the first time to audiences dive into the story or message behind a song, or talk about the recording process. There was almost none of this from Smith, who’d rather let the music do the talking.

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The new material many of which were debuted for the first time, sounded like a moodier slightly darker take from what they did on their debut. Their sound still has a that floating dreaminess to it, with duel jangly guitar lines battling over the rhythm section and Smith’s vocals. Some songs found a slower pace, using space and time to add to the atmosphere Some songs got off to a false start, or were almost skipped over, but after a second attempt they found themselves. “Dust” was a particular highlight, a pent-up ball of energy that sent the crowd into an aggressive shoving match, which followed right into the final song of the night, “Wasted Life,” which Smith said would close the album and is a “song about believing in yourself.”

Smith ended the show telling us that the record was looking at a September release date, and although fans stuck around pleading for an encore performance, leaving us to wait until Governors Ball next month to get out next fix of DIIV. It can’t come soon enough.

Find photos of both DIIV + Sunflower Bean posted below, along with some videos taken from DIIV’s performance.



Sunflower Bean:

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DIIV:

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