Funnily enough, we’d been listening to the Cure just before ‘Under The Sun’ appeared on the playlist, and there was something of a shock when Zachary Cole Smith’s vocals finally entered, eerily reminiscent of Robert Smith’s late-entry on some Cure tracks. That’s because ‘Under The Sun’ definitely has elements of gothy new-wave, from the 80s drums to the shimmering synths and sky-soaring guitars which cut through the clatter. Since their first single for their new album, ‘Dopamine’, we’ve had the more aggressive but also proggy ‘Mire (Grant’s Song)’ and the more traditional shoegazey ‘Bent (Roi’s Song)’, but ‘Under The Sun’ is more like that Cure sound than anything they’ve ever done before, from the strong bassline to the combination of synths and dreamy guitars.
The lyrics, familiarly enough, are vague enough to fit into the track and have a Slowdive-ish sun-obsession, but rarely touch on anything that doesn’t slip between your fingers – which is step backwards considering how personal ‘Dopamine’ was. Zachary Cole Smith’s voice was never really about the lyrics though, it was about creating another wavy instrument to float on top of the rest. It’s also a shame that ‘Under The Sun’ didn’t stretch itself out for a few more minutes, as both ‘Mire’ and ‘Bent’ did that and it made DIIV switch up their dreamy default into experimentation with ambience. DIIV have made it very easy to be banded into the shoegaze/dream-pop revival in the past, but Is This Is Are is getting more exciting with every single the band put out.