Listen to “Diver” by Canterbury here.
There was a phase around 2011 where people were obsessed with serious over ear headphones. You had to wear them around your neck all the time so people knew you were listening to something interesting. It was a real wanker move that I was gleefully guilty of. Conceptually, the explosion of big headphones made sense around that time. The mid 2000s were a time of peak poor quality illegal downloads being blared through mobile phone speakers. Then towards the end of the decade there was a swing towards sound quality snobbery that coincided with my late teens.
One of my favourite things about serious headphones was sometimes finding songs that had way more layers than you originally noticed. My little mind would be blown sitting on the 103 bus coming up Whitworth Road in the evenings fairly regularly. “Diver” is probably the main song that I think of when I remember that feeling.
Canterbury were an English band at a weird time for English rock bands. They were kinda heavy but too good looking to be marketed as a proper heavy band so they ended up as a kind of a rock band for teenage girls. I went to see them in 2011 without having really listened to them and then downloaded their free album “Thank You”. I gave the album a listen and the chorus of “Diver” was absolutely massive. If you skip to the one minute mark you’ll hear what I mean. The drums have that indie disco rhythm going. There’s one guitar playing a riff that kinda goes in circles. There’s a second guitar throwing in disco chords. And then the bass riff has this great slide and then grooves along. You’ve got all these complete layers and it feels like each layer is a band member. Lots of bands have more instruments than band members in their songs and they lose that band feeling. “Diver” on a decent speaker makes Canterbury feel like a real band, all doing different things to make the same song.