Stumbling onto Diners’ 2014 album Always Room last summer is perhaps one of my most favorite serendipitous discoveries to date. The Phoenix, AZ band has mastered the art of conjuring up simple memories of past years, filling our ears and hearts with nostalgia. Diners’ lightweight melodies and sweet lyrics transformed my fast-paced walk around the noisy city streets to a peaceful drift, my mind filled with the blissful feelings of summers past. And yet, the nostalgia didn’t leave me wanting for the past, but enabled me to remember and apply those good feelings to my present, living among millions in a near-constant, double-edged sword state of anonymity.
Diners is at it again with new song “Fifteen On A Skateboard,” preceding their new album, Three, out September 16th via Asian Man Records. Beginning with a twinkling myriad of instruments, Tyler Broderick’s slow, friendly voice comes through, his lyrics relating to the familiar feeling of a song’s ability to take you back to a past memory. As the chorus begins, the dreaminess of Broderick’s vocals and the meandering guitar so strongly echoes the feeling of being a teenager that I can picture the scene in my mind—the blue sky beginning to darken, the subdivision of near-identical houses, and a teenage boy swerving left to right down an empty street with a summer breeze offering him solace from the hot stillness of the evening. I am neither a teenage boy or a skater, but there is a collective feeling from this memory that I and everyone else can hopefully derive from this picture–the mundane moments of growing up, the simplicity of our days, the quietness of our minds. The loveliness of Diners (which is essentially Broderick with a rotating cast of bandmates) is the way he uses sparse, simple songs to create an entire narrative about something you may have never experienced, but can imagine perfectly.