Deep Sea Diver’s frontperson Jessica Dobson has quite an impressive resume as she’s been the touring guitarist for Beck’s backing band, The Shins, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Spoon, and Divine Fits. And as a result she’s been on the stages of Coachella and Bumbershoot Festivals, and in front of national television audiences with appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Saturday Night Live. As a hired gun those experiences are invaluable but for many side-people there’s a point where they want to take center stage and control their artistic and professional destiny.
Deep Sea Diver, Dobson’s latest project is a collaboration with her husband Peter Mansen (drums), Garrett Gue (bass) and Eliot Jackson (synth, piano, guitar and backing vocals). And since the release of the Seattle, WA-based quartet’s 2012 full-length debut, History Speaks, the band has developed a reputation for relentless experimentation through uncommon rhythms and melodies (for indie rock), and a direct emotional approach.
Released, a few weeks ago, the Always Waiting EP is the anticipated follow-up to the quartet’s debut and the EP’s first single “One By One” is led by throbbing percussion and Dobson’s plaintive vocals, which manage to express hard-fought fearlessness mixed with vulnerability and an emotional honesty that can seem highly uncommon in an age of sneering irony. And on another level, the song expresses the freedom from self-consciousness that’s affirming.
Plus I can’t deny adoring a song that’s deeply affecting and yet so breezy – to the point of a playful, coquettishness.