Django Django’s songs have a habit of running on the spot, all pumping arms and legs but an unchanging landscape. In grimmer hands, the effect might be the equivalent of a gym treadmill. But the London-based band invest their music with vibrant textures and psychedelic colours, a pulsating sense of animation. The deliriously enjoyable effect is encapsulated by the name of one of their new songs: “Headrush”.
This mix of galloping tempo and repetitive structuring has not moved on much from their self-titled debut, which came out in 2012. “It’s like a default,” they chorused back then, on a song called “Default”, as though setting the terms of engagement. The success of this formula is evidenced in the exuberance of their fourth album, Glowing in the Dark.
The foursome — bassist Jimmy Dixon, synth player Tommy Grace, drummer-producer David Maclean, guitarist-singer Vincent Neff — get underway with “Spirals”, a tribute to the double helix of DNA. The song revolves around a vibrant bassline and chanted refrains; musical life is duly generated. “Free from Gravity” heads into psych-pop heights with Brian Wilson-style vocals and the spacey electronic melodies of 1970s German kosmische Musik.
Charlotte Gainsbourg guests on “Waking Up”, a breezy pastiche of 1960s psychedelia. At times like this, the lure of the past threatens to pull the album backwards, but it manages to break free. “I need a space to breathe,” Neff sings on the title track over an oscillating techno tone and tight grid of dance beats, a deft tweak to their usual sound. “The speed of light is leaving us behind,” he adds. Django Django follow their own laws of motion.
‘Glowing in the Dark’ is released by Because Music