Continuing on their psychedelic style, the latest album from Django Django is a creative work of delirious drum beats.
London-based art-rock band Django Django are known for their quirky and often strange style. Since starting out in 2009 and releasing their debut self-titled album in 2012, they’ve gained a decent following due to their creative and unique sound. This sound has been reflected clearly in both their second and third studio albums, Born Under Saturn (2015) and Marble Skies (2018), yet their latest album Glowing in the Dark attempts to adapt this style with a new sense of delirium and psychedelia.
Glowing in the Dark proves to be a new venture for the band, experimenting more with electric drum sounds and slower tracks that are far from common in their existing discography. The album messes around with the exciting fast-paced nature of Django Django’s previous sound, replacing this with songs that explore the band’s capabilities through differing instruments that can’t be heard in their older albums. Glowing in the Dark is far from my favourite in terms of its tracks, yet this is why the album shines brightly amongst other avant-garde bands like Everything Everything and Arcade Fire; as it is not afraid to fall out of suit and mix things up a bit.
The album opens with ‘Spirals’, a track that was released before the turning of the new year. The track isn’t my favourite, as it pushes itself away from art-pop and towards a clearer dance scene – with an MGMT remix even being released. ‘Waking Up’ is a track that likens itself to Django Django’s original style, layering vocals with purposeful beats that keep you listening and vibing along. The catchy ‘Asking For More’ is a brilliant track, and one that I’ll be playing daily from now on to give me some of that much-needed energy that the band know how to produce. It’s a different take on their style, yet it works in a way that is much more successful than the title track ‘Glowing in the Dark’ which falls short of expectations.
A strange track experience for me is the quirky ‘Free From Gravity’. As a track that had already been released, I was excited to hear the song in the context of the album as I had previously not enjoyed the track. On a second-listen, the increasing fast-paced nature and creatively constructed electronic notes that pick up speed as the track moves forward only heightens the difference between all the tracks on the album. It’s difficult to work out if the album is one that aims to show variety or perhaps one that genuinely doesn’t flow, yet for me, it’s fun to experience a wealth of difference from Django Django – when their style is usually quite rigid.
‘Night of the Buffalo’ is an incredible work of art, reminding you halfway through the album’s tracklist of just what Django Django do best. The track creates a brilliant scene, employing a Western vibe that you could vividly imagine being at the opening of a Wild West movie where the camera pans across the landscape to reveal the rural openness of the dry environment. The track even ends with orchestral strings that come together to a pinnacle, replicating the cinematic intensity of the song’s impact.
Whilst the album isn’t quite their best work, with some of the tracks being somewhat forgettable, Glowing in the Dark opens up a new path for the art-rockers. It proves they can do more, with slow and emotional tracks such as ‘The World Will Turn’ that even uses an acoustic guitar being placed next to catchy vocal showcases such as ‘Hold Fast’. The album is definitely one I’ll be listening to over the coming months, however, there will definitely be some tracks I’ll have to skip. Django Django never fail to provide some quality psychedelia and their latest quirky release deserves a lot more recognition.
Glowing in the Dark is available to listen to now via Because Music. Check out the music video for the title track below.