Deep Sea Diver - Secrets

by James Weiskittel Rating:6 Release Date:2016-02-23

Jessica Dobson has been making the studio rounds for years, lending her many talents (she literally plays just about every single instrument) to the likes of The Shins, Beck, Spoon, Conor Oberst, and the list goes on and on. And while the depth of her contributions may be difficult to measure when folded into the greater context of an ‘A-list’ studio band, there is little doubt as to her worth when it comes to Deep Sea Diver, the band that she fronts, along with her husband Peter Mansen (drums).

With Dobson casting an eerily similar visual vibe to Chrissie Hynde on the cover, Secrets (Deep Sea Diver’s soon to be released full-length) finds Dobson and her cohorts confidently serving up a strong batch of quasi-catchy post-millennial alt-rock.

Album opener “Notice Me” finds the three-piece confidently strutting their mid-tempo flair right out of the gate, while songs like “Wide Awake” and “Creatures of Comfort” continue the albums measured (and admittedly at times ‘samey’) sound and pace.  The formula is well established throughout the album’s first half, with the sultry vocals unraveling upon a drum and bass foundation before Dobson finally pours her shimmering guitars onto the choruses.  It’s good stuff, mind you, but little here will surprise or astonish.

And perhaps that really isn’t the point.  After all, given Dobson’s impressive resume, it would be hard to blame her for sticking to the tried and true indie/alternative script, but Deep Sea Diver does manage to carve out its own little niche on the second half of Secrets, beginning with the six minute plus grandeur of the album’s title track.  The sparse piano/vocal of “Great Light” serves well to highlight Dobson’s wispy vocals while “See These Eyes” is a downright ‘fun’ little romp.  Secrets saves the best for last, with “It Takes a Moment” and “Body on the Tracks” serving as the album’s two best songs.  

Taken as a whole, Secrets is a solid effort from an equally solid three-piece, and it does a good job of showing that Deep Sea Diver is more than simply a solo vehicle for the impressively talented Jessica Dobson; it’s a band, complete some solid songs and ton of potential.

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