Django Django – Born Under Saturn Review

The Edinburgh formed quartet that is Django Django have released their second studio album Born Under Saturn today with the promise of stronger Disco and electronic influences with the certainty of crisp production and harmonious vocal combinations. If successful, it would produce an album with easy hooks and melodies and more advanced versions of tracks of their first album from 2012. With that mercury prized nominated, self titled album being the standard, then Django Django might have produced a dark horse of an album this year.

A track that so far heralded a progressive and tangible change in their sound was ‘First Light’. It’s a song with a slick drum machine beat and expansive synth sounds that give the song a pulsating rhythm. These more rooted instrumentals are balanced by the smooth vocals harmonies that were utilised so well with their first album, for they make the song more engaging whilst leaving the more expansive and fluid instrumentals untouched. They have discovered what aspects of their previous work would enhance their new sound and have married the two aspects seamlessly and it has already given them more scope to alter the dynamics of this album. ‘Reflections’ has a more immediate rhythm and beat without the expanses of ‘First Light’. The track is kept close with the isolated bouncing synths and piano chords layered over them. These are met with their trademark vocal sweeps that usher back and forth the songs progressions. It doesn’t the instantaneous appeal that their first single has, but it is certainly a track that makes more sense the more you listen.

‘Shake and Tremble’ opens with a Silver Apples type purpose with it’s stretched, rotating sounds that propel the song into it’s buoyant guitar driven mainstay. It’s similar to that of their first album with the vocal combinations and harmonies smoothly crossing paths and merging into one with that rattling guitar sound echoing through it. In this case, it’s with a little more purpose and rapidity accentuated by the high keys of a piano and a more defined bass line. These are built up and worked down in the song’s transitions and highlights the energy in the track. A familiar, but proven solution here. ‘Beginning to Fade’ has a waltzing rhythm and a more earthy instrumental sound with it’s swaying acoustics and guitar fills over the top of it. The vocals here are more close in their sound, but you feel more could have been done with the vocals in what is quite a simple track instrumentally. ‘Pause Repeat’ has an intriguing build up of electronica and vocal harmonies but kind of flatlines beyond that. ‘Found You’ is another song that doesn’t utilise it’s minimalism with an alternative space filler. The album demonstrates how good their singles are, but you’re hard pressed to find something equating to their quality or dynamism. It’s an album not as intricate as their first, but certainly with signs of advancement and one that’s certainly worth a considered listen.

Django Django – Born Under Saturn = 7.5/10

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

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