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Django Django - Glowing in the Dark (Album Review)

Wednesday, 24 February 2021 Written by Milly McMahon

Fusing drum loops, layered synth bass, soaring melodies and a genre-free approach to composition, ‘Glowing in the Dark’ is Django Django’s most ambitious album to date. Created before Covid-19 took hold of the world, the band began working on this fourth studio album to express the angst provoked by charged environmental and political climates, from Brexit to Donald Trump’s presidential reign.

Describing each song as a bubble, exploring the macro and micro problems infiltrating our lives, ‘Glow in the Dark’ progresses from track to track like a journey of self-discovery. In miniature, Headrush typifies the essence of the entire album.

It’s a psychedelic infusion of warped, echoing instrumentals, twisting and turning, shapeshifting towards the final crescendo, where Django Django’s signature style of organised chaos works like a dream. 

The raw spirit of experimentation on this record is tumultuous. The Ark demonstrates the band playing to their most consciousness-expanding strengths. Purely instrumental, it hurls the listener into a sonic wormhole of expanding, rhythmically distorted sounds.

Interestingly, the title track is not the best example of the LP’s accomplished aesthetic. Feeling convoluted and monotonous, many other tracks would have more purposefully led the album. Asking For More, for example, is a funky, riff-led arrangement of keys and vocals, reminiscent of their previous albums’ flair. 

Waking Up, featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg on vocals, is a flash of sheer brilliance. Her voice dances poetically alongside laid back guitar chords, reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s enveloping sense of mystery, and this track captures the imagination, painting with pastels and soothing with hushed tones.

A unique album that feels genuinely full of colour, hope and inspiration during this creatively muted period, ‘Glowing in the Dark’ gives us a much-needed glimpse through a window of escapism.

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