didi founders Meg Zakany (vocals and guitar) and Sheena McGrath (drums) met at uni in 2013 and drafted in local Columbus DIY scenesters Kevin Bilapka-Arbelaez (vocals and guitar) and Leslie Shimizu (vocals and bass) to complete the line-up. A self-released, eponymously titled LP came out in 2015 and highlighted the band’s knack for writing catchy pop melodies in the vein of Alvvays and Weezer whilst utilising the dynamic sensibilities of The Pixies.

The band declare themselves to be “all American” but their members have ancestral roots in Japan, Colombia and Mexico and it is this diasporic identity that helps shape didi’s music, and more specifically the politically charged content of much of the lyrics within this album. Zakany, Bilapka-Arbelaez and Shimizu all contribute vocals to the album and they offer a form of solidarity and community that can often be lost on albums with various singers as didi’s songs have a general and identifiable commonality which makes it difficult to guess in the early bars of songs which lead voice will appear. This, then, offers a sense of communal experience for the band as the various singers tell their tales of societal disenfranchisement in the face of gender, class and ethnic identity issues (amongst other things).

‘haru’ kicks the album off in scintillating style. There is plenty here reminiscent of Sonic Youth and The Breeders which is no bad thing at all, and there is also an indie pop sensibility which this album shares with current artists such as Snail Mail and Speedy Ortiz. The high pitched vocal delivery on the opener is very Kim Deal-esque and the chorus has a simplicity which could hook a whole generation of new grunge kids into its gleeful clutches. One of the key traits of didi are that they know exactly how to leave the listener wanting more – there is not one song here which overstays its welcome and many, in fact, zip by all too quickly.

It is difficult to pick out one particular track which stands out from the rest on this album as this is an entirely consistent body of work, but ‘circles’ (perhaps the most musically derivative song on Like Memory Foam) deserves special mention for lulling the listener into a false sense of security by offering a delightfully simplistic and upbeat tone and harmonies. The lyrics, however, are not immediately obvious due to the effective overlaying harmonies used, yet their focus is on themes of loss which belies the breeziness of the track in general. It is in moments of such contrast between musicality and lyrical subject matter that lifts didi above many of their contemporaries and makes them an important band right now.

‘anzaldúa’ is perhaps the most overtly political track on the album, referencing as it does Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘Borderlands’, a book which deals with the complex intersections of identity and specifically those people who live on the frontiers between languages and cultures. Bilapka-Arbelaez sings ‘made my way into your sense of insecurity and laid right down to sleep’, reinforcing the sense that there is power in confronting hostile environments for those confident enough to hold it. A strong message in difficult times.

Such levels of confidence, control and conviction abound in the ten tracks of this album which bounce along at an often breathless pace. Despite the often-heavy lyrical content and the weather outside as I write, Like Memory Foam has a very optimistic, summery feel to it. There is enough to this album to believe that didi may be one of the spearheading bands to make America grunge again. A triumph.