Django Django Marble Skies Because Music
Marble Skies, the third album from Edinburgh art-rockers Django Django, starts at a gallop. There’s a ringing buzz and a voice echoing, and then the first demanding synth beat kicks in and never really lets up. The album is suffused with a driving rhythm, one that pushes on ever forward.
“Where’s everybody gone/ This used to be the place,” Vincent Neff wonders on the guitar-led Further, where the pace suffers itself to slow to a quick march. But if this is an album that does look back and around, they are only occasional glances thrown from a fast-moving vehicle. Marble Skies’ tempo is breathless, Champagne is a cheery pop song with a whistling trill of a melody, while the band are joined by Czech-born jazz-fusion artist Jan Hammer on Sundial for a surprising burst of jangly piano chords and Neff’s voice floating above.
Other tracks require a little more focus. Real Gone dwells for two and a half minutes on electro-pop synths and an anxious, pattering beat before Neff finally shows up to announce laconically, “See no sign of life round here.” He’s not wrong. Second single In Your Beat fails to reach the same heights as the cohesive energy of comeback track Tic Tac Toe, as psychedelic synth-led squelch leads only to an oddly disappointing chorus.
For the most part, though, this is a satisfying new addition to Django Django’s catalogue, a series of expertly crafted songs that translates in almost all respects except, perhaps, sincerity. Marble Skies is cleverly constructed and full of hooky choruses, but the art-rock quirkiness makes for a general feeling of a lack of feeling, and the songs here are easy to listen to but hard to connect with. It’s a fun record. Just make sure it doesn’t run away without you.