DIIV Is the Is Are

[Captured Tracks; 2016]

Styles: half awake
Others: can someone call my phone?

Here we are, returning back to the thing we always knew we could count on, except now things are different. What used to be our fix has become grotesque and strange to us, a perverse reminder of how much more naïve we were back then. It’s like when I ran into my old Rennaisance Adventures camp leader while I was working at Jamba Juice back in high school, a man who had always been hilarious and kind to me when I was a kid, but now he meekishly ordered his smoothie before sitting down with a friend to discuss how his longtime girlfriend was leaving him and he didn’t know why.

So why do we keep coming back? How do we manage, knowing that maybe even in a couple of months we’ll be looking back at ourselves wondering how we ever could’ve believed what we do now? Just stumbling dreamily through time, becoming ever weaker, always wanting to Be Some Thing.


It’s disheartening to search for meaning in an album like Is the Is Are. I’ve been listening to this record on repeat for the past few days, and more than anything, I feel drained, I feel tired, I feel like I could really use a nap or a glass of water. Is the Is Are, like its title, conjures up a nothingness that is suffocating, especially coupled with the way that the band sells this music as if it were some kind of spiritual exercise. I mean, maybe it’s possible that the spirit world is actually less exciting than this one. Who knows? I just can’t seem to find a place where this music feels at home. When I introduce it into social situations, the communal energy slowly burns out. When I internalize it on my own, I become depressed in the most unproductive way possible — sprawled out, emotionally hungover, resentful toward the past and pessimistic about the future.

Is the Is Are is hopelessness disguised as chilling out, self-defeat disguised as complex darkness. I tried to find poetry in its sounds and found myself just wanting a way out. Even now as I write this, I feel stalled in my tracks, attempting to make sense of my malaise. Though it may promise comfort, Is the Is Are is a false sanctuary. For my own sake, I need to move on.

Links: DIIV - Captured Tracks

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