There is something about the name Django that seems well-suited to music-making. Think jazz guitar virtuoso Django Reinhardt, or onetime NYLON fave Django James and the Midnight Squires
. Or now, Django Django.
The Edinburgh art school grad four-piece more than lives up to their name with their long-awaited self-titled debut, which finally comes out today. "We love all kinds of music, from '50s rockabilly and '60s psychedelia, Krautrock of the '70s, through to the '80s and '90s acid house disco--we draw off a lot of those references," explains singer and guitarist Vincent Neff. It might sound like a lot for one album (and, we should note, this album has 17 tracks--a far cry from the 25-minute releases that have become the norm among indie bands), but Django Django somehow makes it work.
What's the tie that binds tracks like the Devo-esque "Hail Bop" and the Vampire Weekend-inspired "Waveforms"? A party attitude. "We played late night clubs at, like, 2 a.m., so the idea was to get [the audience] dancing, get off the hackles of being reserved," says Neff, adding, "So it's really about fun, being more of a spectacle and a laugh." While they will definitely get you dancing--it's no surprise that they were handpicked to play a slew of dates opening for Hot Chip--the joke is definitely not on them.
The band was just nominated for the UK's prestigious Mercury Prize, which Neff describes as the biggest surprise of the band's already big year. "We had grown up watching that on TV, and a lot of the bands [that have previously been nominated] like Portishead, Primal Scream, and Franz Ferdinand, so it just seems really strange," Neff admits.
Win or lose, the band is already looking ahead to album number two. "I think maybe [Django Django] is like a story so far, all of what we've listened to all of our lives, an exorcism of all that. The next one might be more modern," notes Neff. But really, they're just happy to have one album out. Says the singer-guitarist: "Actually physically making an album in of itself was success, because it was the sort of thing we all talked about individually for years…and the pub would always get in the way! So physically making an LP is a dream come true."
REBECCA WILLA DAVIS
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