Django Django

Marble Skies

Ribbon Music

Jan 31, 2018 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Find It At: AMAZON

The success of Django Django's debut self-titled record put the U.K. band in a bit of a predicament. Because their idiosyncratic blend of indie rock, surf rock, world music, and psychedelia was so fine-tuned, it seemed unlikely that they could follow it up with something equally successful, no matter what direction they went. So they opted for stasis on 2015's Born Under Saturn, delivering tasteful tunes with similarly meditative beats. We liked it, but the reception was muted. With the new Marble Skies, it's nice to hear the quartet venturing toward a punchier, melodic pop sound.

Make no mistake: there's no compromise when it comes to the dusty, rhythmic world-beat quality that's always accompanied Django Django's best songs. And if anything, there's even greater attention paid to layered vocal harmonies, exemplified by lead single "In Your Beat." Another single, "Tic Tac Toe," is even more successful at nailing their exact formula, and might even be the go-to Django track from here on out. Beyond those easy starting points, though, Marble Skies is the group's most eclectic collection of songs. "Surface to Air" is the first left turn, with its dancehall-adjacent beat and guest vocals by Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club (going under the name Self Esteem). Elsewhere, the psychedelic piano bounce of "Sundials" demonstrates the album's most natural and catchy new direction.

Marble Skies probably won't change anyone's mind about Django Django; it's a touch scattershot and not every experimentation works perfectly. But those qualities usually dog indie rock groups on their "difficult third album," and this one functions beautifully as a step further for Django Django. It's full of creative songwriting and risks that mostly pay off. (

Author rating: 8/10

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