Despite the widespread popular and critical acclaim of DIIV’s 2016 album Is the Is Are, frontman Zachary Cole Smith is ashamed of it. In a 2017 interview, Smith admitted that his last album was “predicated on a lie,” and that it “trivializes what people (addicts) go through.” Despite the hopeful and optimistic lyrics that characterized Is the Is Are, DIIV’s tour that year was a disaster largely because of Smith’s battle with his own addiction and other self-destructive behaviors. “Getting sober and staying sober is fucking hard.” It is this sentiment which Smith jams into every reverb soaked moment of Deceiver. While still tackling the subject of addiction and recovery, Deceiver, both sonically and lyrically, is characterized largely by self-hatred and misery. Whether as a product of their time spent touring with black metal band Deafhaven, or as the natural culmination of Smith’s battle with addiction, DIIV have shifted to the entirely opposite end of the shoegaze spectrum with this newest record: from Mazzy Star to My Bloody Valentine.
Favorite Tracks: 10, 7, 1