20 February 2021 (released)
20 February 2021
Glowing in the Dark, the fourth album by London-based psych-rockers Django Django, was released this past week by Because Music. An expansive record that straddles the line between sonic experimentation and mainstream studio production, the album is a prime example of the lofty mundanity that characterizes many of the bands in the indie scene.
Featuring a decidedly diverse sound that borrows blatantly from genres like post-disco, funk, garage-rock, British folk, and alternative-psych, the result is an insipid hodgepodge that underscores the album’s unintended sterility. To be fair, the band is quite proficient at handling the record’s intricate and vibrant musical passages, and there’s a feeling that the quartet had fun recording this. However, more impressive than these improvisational highpoints is the sense of aimlessness permeating throughout Glowing in the Dark.
This unfocused quality is partly due to the lurking suspicion that David Mclean and co. are trying too hard to impress us with their technical prowess. At no point does it feel like the band has any interest in appealing to us other than on a purely superficial level. This is evidenced by the fact that most songs fail to elicit or inspire any emotional responses beyond a desultory head nod or an insouciant remark of casual affinity.
This significant creative oversight puts Glowing in the Dark in the dusty category of pleasant but ultimately instantly-forgettable albums. For a group as technically talented and ambitious as they are, it might behoove the lads in Django Django to remember that it’s not the use of cliched frills that makes listeners perenially revisit specific albums. Instead, it’s the fundamental human element born out of real experiences that makes some bands and records memorable in a culture as fickle and easily distracted as ours.