Django Django's self-titled debut ranks among my favorite records of the year, which means they're also one of my favorite new bands. I'm sorry it didn't win the Mercury Prize—that honor went to Alt-J's An Awesome Wave—but I'm just as sorry fellow Brits Field Music missed out, since Plumb is pretty great, too.
Now the London-by-way-of-Edinburgh quartet has released an animated video for "Life's a Beach," which reflects the surfy '60s side of their multi-faceted sound: dusky organ, crisp tambourine, Eastern-tinged guitar, and Beach Boys-meets-Moody Blues harmonies.
Video, remix, tour date, and requisite Beta Band reference below.
It remains to be seen whether Django Django is a fluke or a sign of more fine things to come. And if that sounds cynical, it's because I've been burned too many times in the past to expect an excellent debut to lead to an equally-excellent career. After all, their big-brother outfit, the Beta Band, were never able to top the success of their first full-length release, The Three EPs, which received a boost when John Cusack raved about it in Stephen Frears' adaptation of High Fidelity (Django Django singer David Mclean's brother, John, played keyboards in the Beta Band). Granted, it wasn't an official debut, since the record literally drew from the group's first three EPs, but it played that way for newcomers. And the connection between the two continues through their work with Beta Band vocalist Steve Mason who remixed "Life's a Beach" here.
Django Django is out now on Ribbon Music. The band plays the Neptune Mar 19.