Diva: Divinity in Thee

I was recently at Diva’s house, which she shares with her husband Matthew and their almost 2-year-old daughter, Love. Their home is at the top of a dusty hill from which you can see other hills and the lights of the houses nestled on them and a great swath of the Los Angeles urban phenomenon. Diva was playing with Love in an inflatable pool which they had set up indoors because the last one was destroyed by raccoons. In the living room, Matthew was mastering some music for his record label, Leaving. The materials for papier-mâché crafting were scattered on the floor. There were homemade papier-mâché “alien crowns” on Matthew’s desk. Now out of the plastic pool, Love was admiring the box that it came in, while Matthew showed me the website they were building for Diva’s record, which provides the opportunity to listen to her music while interacting with various “experiences.” In one such case, the website uses your camera to capture a moving image of you on the screen and then, once it recognizes your face, generates an endless stream of bright, colourful flowers that pour from your eyes.

preview of Diva’s interactive website

 Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 10.27.09 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-03 at 10.27.30 AM

Such is the vibe of Divinity In Thee, out on Circle Star/Stones Throw Records. It’s fun, personal, west-coast spiritual, and groovy. The production is clean and nice with lots of synths and drum machines over which Diva expounds warmly about the universe in her (our) mind. Unity and love are central themes on the record, and while if at first this makes you blush, it might be worthwhile to remember that this is a reaction to art in a time of excess, pornography, and violence, and that a purely positive message is actually quite tough in a culture of cynicism and irony, especially if you’re making pop music. Perhaps that’s really the best part of the record, beyond its home-made musical warmth; its willingness to believe in a world that isn’t doomed by horror, but that is really quite lovely and strange and good for dancing, etc. Divinity In Thee is an enjoyable challenge to depravity and superficiality in art. – JM

stream ‘Satori’ from Divinity in Thee