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CD of The Week

Week of 2/15/21

    Django Django - Glowing In The Dark (Because)

    It's the fourth go-around for UK quartet Django Django who've been making quirky, infectious indie-pop music since their Mercury Prize-nominated self-titled debut in 2012. Glowing In The Dark sees them continuing to develop their organic electronic sound with influences from folk, prog-rock, 80's alternative, and psychedelia. Recorded pre-COVID, this album offers the kind of mental escapism we needed then and so desperately need now. Produced by drummer Dave Maclean, the other members of the group are Vinny Neff on guitar/vox, Jimmy Dixon on bass, and Tommy Grace on synths.

    Strangely enough, it's when Django Django strips away the synthetic elements that we feel the most relief. On "Waking Up," guest vocalist Charlotte Gainsbourg croons with her usual sultry delivery, adding another layer of dreaminess to their sound. "The World Will Turn" is a delightful campfire song, while a trio of songs in the middle of the album ("Headrush," "Night Of The Buffalo," and "Kick The Devil Out") wear their 80's post-punk influences on their sleeve; driving bass lines, chiming guitars, and punchy percussion. Not to fret, their signature electronic grooviness is still present on lead singles "Spirals" and the title track, as well as the Hot Chip-esque "Hold Fast."

    There's not a dull spot on this album of existential, heady daydreams. The trippy cover art is an original piece given to Maclean by an art-school friend and is said to be the genesis of Glowing In The Dark. Often the lyrics ponder our place in the world, from the aforementioned "Spirals" of DNA to the possibility of leaving the world we may be destroying on "Free From Gravity;" "See the world get madder, As we're lifting off the ground, So we're pulling up the ladder, 'Cause we're never coming down." It's good to be reminded that a slippery slope is not to be taken lightly, but overall the tone of GITD is not as gloomy. "Headrush" especially has just the right touch of positivity and other-worldliness. Here's hoping Django Django will be around to take us on plenty more trips.

    Review by Dave Lindquist

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