mon 24/09/2018

CD: Django Django - Marble Skies | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Django Django - Marble Skies

CD: Django Django - Marble Skies

Third album from perennially inventive indie-electronic outfit presses the right buttons

Taking a leaf from the art-pop manual

On paper Django Django seem a perfect band. The four-piece, half Scottish, quarter English, quarter Northern Irish, boast an indie songwriting sensibility, but filtered through a natural pop suss, an engaging sense of psychedelia, a desire to rave it up, and a ripe capacity for harmonisation. Their third album is fat with melody and interest, right from its ballistic opening title track, yet in the end, why is it eminently likeable rather than loveable?

See, I keep trying to have a love affair with Django Django’s music. Their last album, Born Under Saturn (2015), sounds luscious but in the end the only tune I kept returning to is the peerless “First Light”. Their new one, their third, is gorgeous too, imaginatively constructed and may yet grow into something that makes me regret the angle I write from here (the constant bane of anyone assessing new music), but at present it seems admirable, not adorable.

Never mind such negative quibbles, though, and instead revel in what Marble Skies has to offer; the quirky Talking Heads-ish pop of closing slowie “Fountains”, the four-to-the-floor alt-electro-pop bouncers “In Your Beat” and “Real Gone”, the Afro-skittering, tune-rich “Surface to Air”, featuring guest vocalist Rebecca Taylor, the drum tattoo-led “Further”, which sounds like the Beach Boys having a techno-tribal moment.

Indeed, Brian Wilson’s oeuvre is rarely too far away, notably on the piano-led “Sundials” which, crudely assessed, once it gets going, is Wilson jumping in the sack with The Go! Team, albeit not in with the latter band’s penchant for deliberate cacophony. Django Django keep their palette full, Polyfilla-ing every sonic crack, maximising use of the multitrack, never slack in keeping things compelling. So there’s plenty to enjoy here. Yet somehow I was expecting more. What more was I expecting? Bloody music journalists, eh.

Overleaf: Watch the video for Django Django "In Your Beat"

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