Glowing In The Dark by Django Django album review by Adam Williams for Northern Transmissions

Because Music

9

Django Django

Glowing In The Dark

It would appear that Django Django’s fourth LP ‘Glowing In The Dark’ has arrived at just about the right time given its proclivity for escapism and a notion for adventure. Through it’s woozy 60s inspired rockabilly, that’s fused with quirky electro-pop, the four piece’s new album might just be the tonic we all need as a distraction from, you know (writer waves arms around wearily, roll eyes, tuts) all of, this. The reoccurring theme of escape finds footholds in both despair and hope; sometimes ruminating over lost connections, while other times yearning for new horizons, with a desire to leave everything behind for a new life.

Across 13 tracks Django Django have carved out a wonderful odyssey, where the sonic terrains and landscapes come with a tangible feel. It’s this palpable sense of motion and dexterity that gives ‘Glow In The Dark’ an intrepid air, one of excitement but also one that comes with a pensive feeling of anxiety. Setting the tone for what is ahead is record opener ‘Spirals’; a song that commences with the sound of undulating synths before launching into a pulse racing expedition through burbling electronics and jangled surf-rock. There’s an urgency and a feeling of pursuit as Vincent Neff (guitarist/vocalist) ruminates about “crossing the line that divides us”, as if to appeal for a sense of unity in a fractured world. ‘Free From Gravity’s bleeps and burbles create a minimal bounce and an awkward strut that carries the message about wanting to elevate and distance oneself from everyday chaos “see the world getting madder/as we’re lifting up the ground/so we’re pulling up the ladder/because we’re never coming down”. The danceable post punk, by the way of Primal Scream vibes of ‘Kick The Devil Out’ ratchets up the hedonistic club tendencies that Django Django have in their locker, mixed with the catharsis of ridding toxicity from your life. Delivered via a nonchalant tone but backed with some bite, Neff states “show him the front door/I’m going to kick the devil out”, as soulful female backing vocals swoon.

The four piece’s penchant for a banger culminates with the record’s eponymous track, which follows in ‘Kick The Devil Out’s slipstream. ‘Glowing In The Dark’ is a balls to the wall stomper, with thudding beats, a frantic bounce and a hook line that consists of the song and album title being chopped up and throw back at you. Adding a nice juxtaposition to the hedonism is Neff’s anxious wordplay “I need a space to breathe” and “I lay awake at night/it’s gonna melt my mind”, offers a little sour to the aural sweetness on display. It’s not all synths and dancefloor smashers on ‘Glowing In The Dark’ though; ‘Waking Up’, which features Charlotte Gainsbourg, shimmies and shakes with a rootsy appeal, as shuffling, acoustic rock ‘n’ roll fuels the track’s lust for new beginnings. Gainsbourg’s hushed vocals conjure up the image of a car hurtling down a barely lit road, with a distant city disappearing on the rear horizon, as the guest vocalist proclaims, “waking up to the fact/that we’re never coming back/it’s the open road”.

With the balance fairly even between upbeat and melancholy, ‘Glowing In The Dark’s adventurous spirit isn’t without it’s doses of sorrow and soul searching. Don’t be fooled by the jerky carnival atmosphere of ‘Got Me Worried’; look past the quirky percussion and nimble guitar and you’ll find an apprehensive Neff confessing “my ego’s shrinking/I’m sinking/I’m down on the floor” like a man who’s having a crisis of confidence. All the bells and whistles are stripped back from ‘The World Will Turn’s touching intimacy. Accompanied by sumptuous vocal harmonies, delicate acoustic strums and a lush layer of violin, the group’s frontman ruminates about a life without that special someone by his side “even though my life is mine to live/it stops when you’re gone”. Closing track ‘Asking For More’ drops the listener into the middle of an abandoned fairground, where all its giddy noises are dampened and a feeling of dissatisfaction replaces the candy floss and attractions; “let’s get away/from all this madness/only bringing us sadness/do we even care?” and “we had the time of our lives and we’re still asking for more” punctuates the song’s narrative as the album’s dying moments disintegrate, like a carousel slowly grinding to a halt.

‘Glowing In The Dark’ takes you on a woozy voyage through varied undulating soundscapes, where escapism is the primary destination and Django Django are the captain of the ship; I don’t know about you, but I’ve already
got my ticket.

order Glowing In The Dark by Django Django HERE