The Columbus band didi have been steadily building steam since forming as Ohio State undergrads five years ago. They play a form of noise-pop reminiscent of ’80s college-rock heroes Sonic Youth and Pixies but spiked with the modern DIY spirit of Swearin’ and the intersectional perspective of a lineup that counts Japan, Colombia, and Mexico in its collective lineage. (They’re named after bassist Leslie Shimizu’s grandmother, a Seattle native who spent time in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. “We want her to know that her life and her story matter, and that we will be telling it for as long as we can,” their bio explains.)
This fall didi will release their second album, Like Memory Foam, on Damnably, the British label whose roster includes fellow Ohio underground staples Wussy. Our first preview of the album arrives today via a video for opening track “Haru.”
Like all the aforementioned bands, didi employ multiple singers and songwriters, with Meg Zakany, Kevin Bilapka-Arbelaez, and Shimizu’s voices often intermingling in various configurations. On “Haru,” that includes Zakany chiming in with some formerly wordless vocals that evolved into a meaningful expression, as she explains via email:
Spring often times feels like breakup season. Living in the Midwest, moving from winter’s isolated closeness to the season of rebirth and transformation means undergoing change yourself. “Haru” explores the insecurity in that. I think I’ve questioned every relationship I’ve been in in the spring. And anything to feed ambiguity or uncertainty obscures your footing. Before lyrics were shared, I was singing oo’s in the chorus until Leslie told me they sounded like “haru,” which serendipitously means “spring” in Japanese.
In shooting the video, we wanted to incorporate springtime imagery and explore varied forms of metamorphosis to reflect the lyrics, which led us to a butterfly exhibit. The speed and warped effects in the video visualizes anxiety and fleeting thoughts present in a new relationship. We chose to position ourselves in the center in front of flower time lapses to show that we too have evolved in the time we have been bandmates.
Alex Blocher directed the video, which you can watch below.
06 “It Floods”
07 “Dead Tongues”
08 “Heavy Ghosts”
09 “Moon Jelly”
Like Memory Foam is out 11/23 on Damnably. Pre-order it here.