Don’t be fooled by the name, these guys have very little in common with guitar legend Django Reinhardt or even Duran Duran. Instead, their unique mix of electronica and folk might sound like a combination of Kraftwerk and Fairport Convention.
The quartet hails from Edinburgh, Scotland, but settled in London in 2009. Their drummer/producer is David Maclean, younger brother of The Beta Band’s John Maclean. The other members are Vincent Neff, vocals and guitar, Jimmy Dixon, bass and Tommy Grace, synths.
The album begins, appropriately, with Introduction, a two-minute instrumental brimming with swirling synths and tribal drumming…and a bit of whistling, before segueing into Hail Bop which in turn, introduces us to Vincent Neff’s dreamy, drone-like singing. The vocals, often layered, provide a warm counterpoint to the cool electronic music, giving the band their unique sound.
Default is a bubbly slice of 80s synth-pop featuring a chugging guitar line making them sound like a friendlier version of Gang Of Four.
Zumm Zumm is as playful as it sounds while Hand Of Man highlights the group’s folky side. “Sit down and talk to me, open up your eyes and start to dream”. It’s a mellow, relaxing interlude.
Love Darts follows with a galloping beat, but by now, Neff’s droning vocals start to sound a bit tiresome. Some passion in the delivery is called for. My interest, which was high at the beginning of the album starts to wane, and it seems that the band has run out of ideas about three-quarters of the way through their debut album.
Nevertheless, it still feels fresh and intriguing. I can’t think of anyone else who sounds quite like them. Now, they just need decide where to go from here.
Click here to listen to Default from Django Django: