deep sea diver
Jessica Dobson is the fearless multi-instrumentalist, singer and band leader for Deep Sea Diver. Cutting her teeth at a young age playing lead guitar for artists such as Beck and James Mercer (The Shins) Jessica learned a thing or two about writing a song and putting on a show. In late 2013, Dobson put in her notice to former Shins boss, in order to give full attention to her own musical vision. Mercer agreed, saying “I’ll miss you, but I give you my full support. You’ve gotta pursue Deep Sea Diver”. “Good thing too,” noted Stereogum, “because Jessica is an incredible front woman.”
Deep Sea Diver, urgently and deliberately move you from rock experimentation to dreamy soundscapes, Kraut-esque drum and bass grooves to angular danci-ness, and full fledged orchestration to bare bones simplicity. Dobson has the voice and authority to tie it all together, and turn it into a cohesive unit that soars yet remains beautifully delicate and intimate. Live, the band has received acclaim for their festival-ready power and presence, Jessica’s larger than life guitar hooks, and their cascading layers that build upon each other until they reach their explosive peak.
Currently in the studio finishing LP3 with Jessica at the producer helm for the first time along with talented up-and-comer Andy D. Park (Pedro the Lion, Ruler) and mixing by Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney) Jessica and band (comprised of husband Peter Mansen on drums, Garrett Gue on bass, and Elliot Jackson on guitar and synth) have together created a sound and experience that is colorful, energetic, and varied—with an emotional depth and pulsating charge that demands the listeners full attention. Sonically and emotively the album is massive and it will only be a matter of time until Jessica’s voice and talent are heard and given full attention by an ever increasing audience. Jessica has already been shining, but now it’s time to pay attention.
Woongi is made up of Wavid Wurtin, Watt Wavis, Wax Weckman, and Wencer Wein. They formed as a live ensemble in 2015 to play Black Trumpets, the first Woongi EP written as a solo effort by Wurtin. Woongi put their newfound chemistry to work and released the follow-up LP Music for Prophet in 2017. Later that year, while helping his parents move from Kansas to Northern Washington, Wurtin was overcome with inspiration by long drives through the wide-open landscapes of Wyoming and Montana. This experience set the tone for Woongi’s defining second LP, Rip’s Cuts (Sooper Records, 2019) an album they wrote, engineered, and mixed by themselves. “It kind of felt like a record was sketched out before I knew it,” Wurtin states. Freshly inspired by a new aesthetic of vastness and serenity, Woongi embraced a more carefree writing process. In doing so, Rip’s Cut’s achieves a cohesiveness of vision that their previous albums did not. It is more majestic and beautiful in its tone. It experiments more widely with colorful synth textures and is denser and more collage-like in its presentation. Wurtin’s velvety croon emerges with grace and confidence. “It was also inspired by looking up CGI reels from the 80s and 90s, and the whole vaporwave scene I hate to admit,” he says. In keeping with the subtle, quasi-intentional absurdity that is Woongi, Wurtin also timed the original demos for Rip’s Cuts to an obscure 90s movie called The Skateboard Kid. What started as an intrapersonal writing novelty resulted in an album that now inexplicably pairs with a little known 90s B-movie that Wurtin used to watch growing up.