Deep Sea Diver released their third album, Impossible Weight, during 2020. The album was quickly critically acclaimed and the current tour is finally giving Jessica Dobson the opportunity to celebrate it’s release. The Turf Club hosted the 5 piece band that filled the stage with keyboards, synthesizers, a xylophone, drums, and multiple amps. Recreating the sounds and edginess of the new album, Deep Sea Diver energized an attentive audience.
In speaking to Jessica before the show, she shared it’s a joyful and strange situation to be in, touring while still in the midst of a global pandemic. The resilient group has made changes to their behavior to stay safe and avoid getting the variant. This means more take-out dining, masks requirements for their audiences, and keeping post-show fan interactions limited. For Jessica, being on the road was a no brainer.
“I’ve always loved the road. I love performing. That’s just part of my DNA. I think the things I missed so desperately was just being around people who also love music and who love going to shows. It’s such a communal aspect of who we are. It’s been very nice to be back to that. I don’t miss smelly green rooms, but I’ll take it, if it means we can tour.”
Another adaptation to our current state is the route Deep Sea Diver is taking across the country. They aren’t playing any of the places that are rebelling or don’t have mandates in effect. There’s too much risk and revenue that can disappear if you have to quarantine. One positive test means cancellations and loss of money on an already strict tour.
There’s a bit of time travel mindset when going on tour as well, especially with the long length of shutdown. Songs are written years before, then recorded, released, and finally the tour completes the cycle. Impossible Weight carries themes of vulnerability, finding yourself, and having empathetic insight for others. All of which tie into the feelings and situations we’ve all been going through. Does that make it easier to re-spark those feelings when performing them now?
“I’ve always tried to embody a spirit of rejuvenation in songs and in meaning, trying to add something different to it each time we play or channel the spirit in which it was written. I also focus on how I’m connecting with the people that have come to the show. And so it doesn’t feel to stale ever, even if I’m singing the same song over and over again.”
Kicking off their set was two of the bigger hits from the album, “Lights Out” and “Impossible Weight”. Both catchy and full of dynamics, it grabbed everyone’s attention quickly. Hearing “Wide Awake” from their Secrets and “Keep It Moving” from the History Speaks fit in perfectly as well, showcasing Jessica’s guitar work and chug of the drums. “Great Light” had the band step off for a slower track that featured keys and guitar. It was a timely respite that immediately revved back up during “You Go Running”.
The end of the set pinnacled with “Eyes Are Red” that had an extended breakdown and ghostly whispers of “don’t be afraid” filled in by the band. Jessica stepped on top of their light box and jammed over the crowd. Stepping off the box, the band got quiet, then blasted back into the beat. It was that communal moment that Jessica hinted at where everyone felt connected in a special place.
Any band on tour is always balancing trying to recreate a recording and keeping it fresh. Jessica spoke about that potential conundrum.
“I think duplication can be stagnating. And so when your hyper-focused on trying to recreate something, you lose the magic of spontaneity. We don’t ever trigger entire tracks. We try to perform everything live and yeah, just roll with how it sounds.”
One of Jessica’s fondest memories of playing in Minnesota was at 7th Street Entry and seeing Prince walk though the doors with a cane and a cool suit on. Although there was no legendary appearance at the end, we all left feeling like royalty. Check out Deep Sea Diver on the remainder of their tour dates here.