The Current

Great Music Lives Here ®
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now

Album of the Week: Django Django, 'Born Under Saturn'

by David Safar

June 08, 2015

Django Django, 'Born Under Saturn'
Django Django, 'Born Under Saturn'
© 2015 Domino Recording Co./Ribbon Music

Being labeled as art rock is tough to live up to in 2015. There's nothing new in rock music, but it can always be done better. Django Django do it better on Born Under Saturn.

U.K. indie quartet Django Django follow up their Mercury Prize-nominated debut with a collection of songs that are more focused and musically inventive. They deliver an ambitious sophomore album influenced by the sounds of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, Kraftwerk and Laurie Anderson. By embracing a wider palette of influences, the band step away from previous comparisons to The Beta Band; it was an obvious comparison because their drummer, David Maclean, is the brother of John Maclean, an ex-member of The Beta Band.

Born Under Saturn twists art rock and indie pop to create a collection of songs that are catchy, inventive, danceable and psychedelic. Django Djano work harder on their second release to distinguish themselves from similar predictable English indie rock. The album is a tapestry of dynamic arrangements from the down-tempo opening track, "Giant," to the driving pulse of "Shake & Tremble." Layers of synthesizers and guitars provide a backdrop for vocal harmonies on "First Light" and "Reflections."

Unlike the singles on their debut, such as "Hail Bop" and "Default," Django Django's sophomore effort is more consistent from start to finish. It shows their talent for producing songs that fit together and can be consumed as an album rather than as a single song. The album rewards Django Django's fans but will challenge others on first listen.

Django Django's Born Under Saturn is out now on Domino Recording Co./Ribbon Music.