The debut release from Seattle’s Deep Sea Diver landed in our ears earlier this year, and we were immediately taken with the band’s catchy hooks and arrangements, and the voice of frontwoman Jessica Dobson. Deep Sea Diver played our day party, PDX/Rx, during MusicFest this year.
Deep Sea Diver is Jessica Dobson (guitar/keys/vocals), Peter Mansen (drums), John Raines (bass), Michael Duggan (guitar, vocals) with Elliott Jackson (keyboards).
Dobson’s early career sounds like a cautionary tale about signing with a major label in your teens. She signed with Atlantic Records at the age of 19 and moved to New York, told she would be their new “left of center female artist” (think Fiona Apple), and recorded full-length albums that never saw the light of day — twice. Dobson wasn’t happy with the production style of the first record (too much auto-tune) and found the frequent turnover of label executives disconcerting. After a second recording with a second producer in another city (Seattle) also failed to work out, Dobson and the label parted ways.
Dobson’s career then went a different direction. She played guitar on tour with Beck, and toured with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She also worked on her music, under the name Deep Sea Diver, finally releasing an EP titled New Caves on her own in 2009. Her debut full-length, History Speaks, officially landed in February this year. Standout songs “You Go Running” and “NWO” have been locked on play at opbmusic ever since.