Outside your window right now you are more likely than not to be greeted by a bleakly cold picture. Fear not though, Django Django have returned with their third LP ‘Marble Skies’, bringing an irresistible slice of experimental indie sunshine straight to your bedroom.
It is three years since the band released ‘Born Under Saturn’, and while their 2015 effort may have been a bit of a slow burner, ‘Marble Skies’ jumps to life with a title track dispelling any notion that Django may have lost their edge.
The opening number alone is as strong as anything the band have produced in recent years, urgent, catchy and inventive, basically everything you would hope from the London based band. The following collaboration with Slow Club’s Rebecca Taylor as Self Esteem, ‘Surface to Air’, works well and the sharp contrast with the opener gives you an idea of what to expect from the following eight tracks.
Since they met at Art College in Edinburgh, the four-piece have always tried to merge the impossible when it comes to influences and sounds, and at that level, ‘Marble Skies’ is unmistakably Django. Once again they have not shied away from experimentation, the record’s first single ‘Tic Tac Toe’ kicks out of the speakers with a driving rockabilly drum-line complimented by the usual pitch-perfect vocal melodies, creating a kind of polished 21st century cowboy punk. “Lately, ever wondered why we’re put here?” Neff asks in one of the albums most memorable chorus’.
In contrast, Champagne is a real understated highlight, rootsy guitar, popping bass and some of the best lyrical waxing on the record. Without ever exploding, the four-minute track is relentlessly catchy and endearing. Carefree sunshine indie pop, but pop with substance.
While at moments Marble Skies feels like a light rock’n’roll outing, you are soon to be taken in a totally new direction. The jingly reverb laden piano led ‘Sundial’ and the Gary Numan-esque ‘Beam Me Up’ prove that point perfectly, and somehow don’t feel too out of place. The one thing you can rely on throughout is those unmistakable Django vocals, intriguing and reassuringly faultless.
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Nearing the ending moments of the album comes ‘In Your Beat’, the group’s latest single, with perhaps the most obviously enjoyable three-and-a-half minutes on the record. Synths jutting from the opening seconds, the track stands out due to it’s pure boldness and unapologetically euphoric chorus.
As a complete single entity, Marble Skies may feel slightly disjointed at times, but, as is often the case with Django, in the end it just works. Much more fun and accessible than it’s predecessor, the record is a certain return to the form that beamed them onto the scene in 2012, even if it is a wholesomely more poppy affair.
‘Marble Skies’ is out now on Ribbon Music. The album’s full tracklist is below…
01 Marble Skies
02 Surface to Air
04 Tic Tac Toe
07 Beam Me Up
08 In Your Beat
09 Real Gone