Indie rock alive and well with Deep Sea Diver at the Kettlehouse

Deep Sea Diver at the Kettlehouse in Missoula. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

Nearly two years ago, Jessica Dobson brought her band, Deep Sea Diver, to the Top Hat. At the show, she related her thoughts on music. “It’s hard to detach the spiritual element from creativity and there is a healing element to music. Music is important because it’s a very messed up world we live in. It’s able to lift us in ways other things can’t.”

That was October 2019. Soon after that, it seemed her music went silent. But like most musicians, Dobson was not silent. Rather, she and with her husband, drummer Peter Mansen, continued to create new music.

“Impossible Weight” resulted. The album features Sharon Van Etten on the title song.

Dobson’s career has taken her guitar on tour with Beck, Connor Oberst, and The Shins. Clearly she is a great guitarist. She left The Shins in 2012 to pursue her passion: Deep Sea Diver.

Besides her guitar, her voice brings the passion of the music alive and real. She brings a fresh sound to the indie rock world with a slight psychedelic emotion. “Lights Out” in any other time would be about a personal relationship (and perhaps that is what she was thinking). But with the enforced hiatus of Covid, a deeper universal meaning comes through.

Jessica Dobson. (William Munoz/Missoula Current)

“Lights out but my heart is still glowing

For once I recognize the pain in us

I swore I wouldn’t look the other way

I hear the sound, I hear that voice ringing in my ear

I’ve got nothing to fear”

When a band brings out a new album, it becomes essential to promote it by touring. Deep Sea Diver was fortunate to be asked to support Death Cab for Cutie on their latest tour. This gives them exposure to a much larger audience who are serious indie fans.

Dobson quickly won over the sold out Kettlehouse from the first chords. Watching Dobson on stage, brings a comparison to Carrie Browstein of Sleater Kinney, who also recently performed at the Kettlehouse.

Both are great guitarists who have and are moving the Seattle music scene, a movement that needs to once again influence the rest of the country. Indie rock is alive and well and Deep Sea Diver will continue to be a driving influence.