There are certain phrases that have been repeated so often they turn ears deaf and make eyes rolls. Despite their wisdom, they’ve warped into sentences brushed off as frou-frou more appropriately found in sappy social posts or dripping from the lips of condescending adults. Then, suddenly, a couple of artists take an adage under their wing and miraculously make it noteworthy again. Those artists are Demob Happy.
The latest single from the UK-hailing trio,“Less Is More” has turned age-old advice into a song that’s part listless musings on the fickleness of identity, part rallying cry to screw it, just keep going. The single’s video–which was released ahead of Demob Happy’s biggest UK headline tour yet–captures this relentless living by showcasing the band doing what they do best: performing. Quips lead-singer and bassist, Matthew Marcantonio, “It looks like less, but it sounds like more.”
As those familiar with Demob Happy’s previous work may realize, there’s more to “Less Is More” than meets the ear. And before this article gets too dragged down by wordplay, let’s just say that “Less Is More” is significantly, well, more refined when compared to the tracks off their previous studio albums Dream Soda and Holy Doom.
Now Demob fans, don’t panic: the track still maintains that sound which Dork’s Jasleen Dhindsa so aptly deemed “[a]n intellectual and all-embracing encapsulation of the godly and ungodly.” But where these albums let loose a wonderful distortion that made heads bang, “Less Is More” is an even-keeled shrug. When Marcantonio sings about “follow[ing] the rage” and experiencing life’s hard knocks along the way, it’s less bitter nostalgia and more cool determinism. Thomas Armstrong’s reliably hard drums and Adam Godfrey’s surefire chords keep this vibe strong and steady, a reflection of the band’s own trajectory in their career.
The single on the whole is a show of maturity from a band that’s earned their stripes touring with the likes of Jack White and Nothing But Thieves. It’s a treatise to the timelessness of not caring too much in order to enjoy the time we’ve got (so what if someone feels like they’re “changing all the time?” So what if someone cuts their teeth on a relationship gone south?). On top of that, it’s the beautiful display of a band honing their craft and defining it in a mere three minutes and twenty seconds.
So take a listen, enjoy the ride, and be sure to remember that less is more.