Django Django: Glowing in the Dark
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Django Django have been cheerfully surfing their own wave of nerdish, electro-psych-rock for almost a decade, garnering plaudits, coveted slots on console game playlists and mid-table commercial success along the way.
But from the off, Glowing In The Dark feels like a step up for the Mercury-nominated band. Drum rolls and synth arpeggios gather pace in the opener Spirals, an anthem to hope that gleefully slings the listener into the band’s neon-spritzed stratosphere.
It’s immediately followed by the taut guitar motifs, irresistible adrenaline bounce and Beach Boys harmonies of Right The Wrongs and Got Me Worried, together an utterly compelling opening gambit that shows off improved arrangements and lively production. The latter track finds usually upbeat singer Vincent Neff stopping to phone a friend as doubts creep into his lyrics for the first time, and a percussive outro reminiscent of Doves’ There Goes The Fear – neither of which are a bad thing – before Charlotte Gainsbourg joins Neff for the dreamy, semi-acoustic strums and open-road adventure of Waking Up.
The art school outfit employ programmed beats, strings and mellifluous cascades of synth to realise the escapist fantasy Free From Gravity, toy confidently with louche disco-funk (Kick The Devil Out), psych-disco (Hold Fast) and perky synth-pop, too (the sign-off Asking For More).
And there’s no flabby middle or floundering final third to be found: we arrive at the title track, a Hot Chip-rivalling dancefloor banger, via the energetic Headrush, pretty finger-picked guitars of The World Will Turn and Arabesque accents and percussive drive of Night Of The Buffalo. Immaculately realised, Glowing In The Dark feels fresh, confident, optimistic, eclectic, exciting and accessible – a pop record for our times, this deserves to be heard by everyone. 4/5 stars