Album release: 'Modern Knowledge' by Divan
Release date: August 2016
There's a lot of life in the city.
Growing up in the idyllic Irish countryside and finding a place amid the alien, urban sprawl had a huge impact on DIVAN.
Their music; all pulsating rhythm, soaring vocals and oscillating guitars, draws on a rich tapestry of styles and sounds, which evolves into a real statement of intent: the desire to understand art and its relevance in modern life.
Singer, Jamie Clarke writes: 'I think always having an innate desire to surround yourself with activity & action when all you've known is peace & tranquillity comes out in our music. It draws me to people, and also to the art that I love.'
The lyrical narrative in Modern Knowledge weaves its way through such themes, affecting not just today's artists and creators but everyone that, like Jamie, is drawn to the bustle of something more than what was known...
From experimenting with accessible but unusual time signatures in 'Shards' to exploring vulnerability both lyrically and vocally in ‘A Clarity Appears’, the heart and soul that runs through this record is achieved via subtle nods to the likes of Radiohead, The National and Richard Hawley, as well as the band’s own profound voice and subject matter.
There are mournful sparks of looped piano from Brent (Knopf) in 'Darkened Room' and dark melodies inspired by the encompassing warmth of Sufjan Stevens…while frontman Clarke’s subtly reedy voice is reminiscent of Benjamin Gibbard in his more delicate moments. Major chords are utilised to strengthen the depths alongside jolting, haunted stabs of guitar and the end result is compelling, intense and overwhelmingly thoughtful; demanding repeated listens.
About the record, singer Jamie Clarke writes; "When all you want to do is make music, trying to turn what you love into a product in a time when that product is no longer being purchased is a weird situation. It takes up a huge part of your life. It affects your relationships in great and negative ways. It closes doors, but it opens others. At the end of the day you just have to try to do what you love as much as possible. That's what this album tries to convey. We loved making it. Hopefully it will find people who love to listen to it."
'Modern Knowledge' was recorded in Attica Audio & produced by Ian McNulty & Brent Knopf (EL VY, Menomena, Ramona Falls). DIVAN features members of The Ambience Affair & Tomorrows, who have supported the likes of Villagers, Lower Dens, Field Music & Peter Broderick. DIVAN are Jamie Clarke, Marc Gallagher & Conor Deasy.