credit: Matt Wignal
“Wide awake, and I’m chasing after you”—exclaims a breathless Jessica Dobson, singer and multi-instrumentalist of Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver. The lyric is one that best encapsulates the front woman’s bravado and fearlessness which dominates Deep Sea Diver’s forthcoming sophomore LP, Secrets—Out February 19th 2016 on their own High Beam records. In their desire to explore dualities, Deep Sea Diver urgently and deliberately move you from rock experimentation to dreamy soundscapes, Kraut-esque drum and bass grooves to angular danci-ness, and full fledged orchestration to bare bones simplicity. Dobson has the voice and authority to tie it all together, and turn it into a cohesive unit that soars yet remains beautifully delicate and intimate. Live, the band has received acclaim for their festival-ready power and presence, Jessica’s larger than life guitar hooks, and their cascading layers that build upon each other until they reach their explosive peak.
In late 2013, Dobson put in her notice to former Shins boss, James Mercer, in order to give full attention to her own musical vision. Mercer agreed, saying “I’ll miss you, but I give you my full support. You’ve gotta pursue Deep Sea Diver”. While much was gleaned from the experiences in her many years spent playing with top tier musical outfits (Beck, the Shins, Spoon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs,) something was brewing that demanded a sort of dedication and alertness that couldn’t be fully engaged while moonlighting as a side-woman for those greats. “Good thing too," noted Stereogum, "because Jessica is an incredible front woman.”
Recorded with Darrell Thorpe (Radiohead, Beck) and Luke Vanderpol at the Bank in CA, Jessica and band (comprised of husband Peter Mansen on drums, Garrett Gue on bass, and Elliot Jackson on guitar and synth) have together created an album that is colorful, energetic, and varied—with an emotional depth and pulsating charge that demands the listeners full attention. As she and Mercer sing together on Creatures of Comfort, “I’m in my own world”, the listener is brought in, and very content that this is the world that she has chosen and invited others into. Secrets is an album you will not want to keep to yourself.
Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.