Hood to Hood Ballard: Deep Sea Diver

photos by Brittney Bollay and Dave Lichterman

It is now 11:30 AM and Jessica Dobson is sounding great in her first live radio session at the Ballard Day broadcast in Bergen Place Park until she abruptly stops midsong to ask for more vocals.  Oh wait, they’re soundchecking right now.  If they sound great now, this says something about them….  Or, it says something about my observation skills.

Anyway, if the frontwoman for Deep Sea Diver looks familiar to you, then you just might be quite the astute musical afficionado.  Dobson, who in recent years has served as guitarist for Beck, the bassist for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and most recently, as the guitarist for the Shins, helms the Seattle-based band, which includes band members John Raines, Michael Duggan,and Peter Mansen. At first glance, it is undeniable that the band takes musical cues from Dobson’s past projects; however, that shortchanges the fact that, at the end of the day, she, with band in tow, exhude swagger and pristine musicianship, whether with intricate, funky basslines, incredible drumming and vocal presence, or obviously, great songs, particularly “You Go Running,” which enthrall from beginning to end. If you’ve always wondered what the child of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Little Dragon would ever sound like, I can assure you that you needn’t wonder any longer.

Even earlier Hood to Hood performer Bryan John Appleby was seen in the audience grooving alongside a mosh pit of two year old children emphatically enjoying Deep Sea Diver’s set.  At a mere 20-30 minutes long, set songs like “Ships” and “Weekend Wars,” both off their 2012 release, History Speaks successfully recreate the eclectic and funky sound that they demonstrate on their record.  They didn’t banter between songs because they had minds, namely ours, to blow.  Dobson, in particular, finessed both the guitar and piano with the panache that her illustrious musical pedigree entails.  Raines, on bass, remained upright and stoic whereas the other members, namely Mansen on drums, howled and snarled during the set’s more furious moments.  Their ending track, the titular track from their recent album, was soft, melodic, but by no means, uninteresting.

Check out the setlist photos here and stay tuned for My Goodness! live from Bergen Place Park in Ballard at 2PM!

portrait by Brittney Bollay:

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