October 15th || Leah Hamer
After forming back in 2015, the Stoke-Sydney lovechildren, Deep City Diver are ready to show the world who they are. Made up of an entirely independent project who remain unsigned, self-managed and ‘completely DIY’, the band have produced their self-titled debut album.
Guitars and guns blazing, the album begins with Easy Prey, with the striking vocals of Ryan Nicolussi greeting you with a warm and welcoming embrace. Contrary to standard indie structures, the band have produced a lengthy, calculated number with this opener, to showcase the intricacy and excitement of their guitar work.
Everyone Is Alone follows, offering another deeper dimension into the mind-set of the band. Brooding and thoughtful with reflective lyrics, it offers a mellower, melancholic tone to contrast against the blinding brightness of the first track. After comes As The Crow Flies, with a darker, grittier feel, set off by a simple repetitive chord structure. Progressive and experimental, it is intriguing to learn that this songs origins can be traced back to Ryan’s teenage years, although it fails to seem out of place. Oddly, despite the age of which it was written- it is one of the most mature and heartfelt tracks on the album.
Fourth track Living In The Hyphen is quiet and hazy, giving a forefront to the lyrical and vocal magic that this band so excel in. With a whirling background synth, the track is submerses you in a lethargic dream, until it gradually fades into silence. Down On Wreckyn Street, I’m Ruined picks up the pace once again- with a demanding drum beat waking you up from your contentment. Racing and alive, with quick guitar and an enthusiastic atmosphere, it shows yet another side to Deep City Diver.
Another World is a proud, spacey, glitter bopper, with sprinkles of eighties pop and moody alternative noughties qualities. Next comes Nothing Hurts with its catchy hook and clever lyrics, ‘I’m just a boy dressed up a as man’. Vocally it is reminiscent of a New Romantic sensibility, backed up by the soft synths and aloof melodies.
As the album nears its end, Honey Eater gives you that end of prom final song vibe. Hearty and loving, it is a strong point of the album for starry-eyed souls. Youth ends the album with a short burst of angelic wisdom. It perhaps sums up the album’s message and meaning most proficiently. In the words of Ryan, ‘For me the album is almost like a mixtape for my emerging adulthood. Because the songs were written over so many years, each one documents a very specific moment in time…The songs explore similar themes - love and loss, isolation and unity - the difference becomes how you deal with them as you grow older’. This comes across aptly throughout.
Engaging, moving and perceptive, Deep City Diver is a beautiful display of adolescence forging into the reality of adulthood and thus showcases the band as confident, understanding and wise young musicians.
You can catch Deep City Diver at The Underground on Friday 20th October.
Deep City Diver is available to download now digitally. Also a limited run vinyl was funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign and will be available on Friday 20th October.