tue 21/05/2024

Album: Django Django - Glowing in the Dark | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Django Django - Glowing in the Dark

Album: Django Django - Glowing in the Dark

A much needed ray of fluorescing festival fun from the indietronic troupers

It’s odd that there’s still no name for the wave of genre-agnostic British bands of the '00s.

Not manic enough to be nu rave, way too interesting for the retro-guitar nu rock revolution / landfill indie tsunami, the likes of Hot Chip, Metronomy, Friendly Fires, Simian and the super-louche Wild Beasts between them mapped out a new area of psychedelic pop. And into this in 2009 came the Scottish / Northern Irish / English band Django Django, a perfect fit into this unnamed movement with their winsome melodies and ability to fold everything from psyche-folk to acid house to rockabilly into their sounds.

All of this was, and is, popular. For all the cool “record collector” influences, like many of their contemporaries, DD have found themselves a festival favourite – and on this, their fourth album, you can hear a band very much used to playing to big crowds. From the very opening – a steadily accelerating synth arpeggio that weaves itself into the spaghetti western twang and postpunk bassline of “Spirals” – in fact, the air of collective giddiness is blatant. “I can feel it, can you feel it?” sings Vincent Neff, and frankly yes we can.

The feeling is bittersweet of course, because we’re still a long way from dancing in fields now, but throughout the album it is there and is as infectious as Covid. From the beautifully insouciant “Waking Up”, a duet with Charlotte Gainsbourg, through the Andrew Weatherall-like electro dub of “Free From Gravity” and the almost trad folk “The World Will Turn” to the sweaty dance groove of the title track, the pleasure principle is writ large here. And most importantly, the songs lead.

You might hear Morricone, The Cure, Bo Diddley, Neu!, Bert Jansch, and any number of other “record collector influences”, but these are all used as flavours, balanced with real finesse – and all acting in service of those songs. Because Django Django, like Hot Chip, like Metronomy, are a pop band. A psychedelic, clever, festival-friendly one, but a pop band nonetheless, and it’s this which set them apart at the beginning and this which will continue to give them longevity. Especially when we can get to festivals again.

@joemuggs

Listen to "Spirals":

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