Django Django - Winter’s Beach: Time To Experiment
October 15, 2018
>> We haven’t heard from Django Django since… wait, January? After more of the same on “Marble Skies”, “Winter’s Beach” is here to show us a new side of the group.
The classic Django Django sound is a fun one, but it’s not hard to imagine it getting a bit stale with a few more albums. If that’s your fear, you’re in luck: “Winter’s Beach” changes just about everything. Gone is the clean-gain, slightly twangy guitar; instead we get fast-paced synths and a drum machine. It’s a total heel-face turn, but one that actually kind of works with Vincent Neff’s vocals. Crank up the reverb, let the synth get a bit ambient, and bam -- they’re a totally different group.
It would be easy for “Winter’s Beach” to be a misstep. After all, Django Django are throwing a completely different vibe at the wall to see what sticks. Sure, the EP may not be hits start to finish, but it still captures that classic Django Django emotion -- fun. “Winter’s Beach” is an upbeat, enjoyable time. It may have a completely different sound, but the feeling is still the same: Django Django have distilled an ear-to-ear grin into music.
Now, “Winter’s Beach” isn’t perfect. It has full-length album amounts of filler, and those tracks are some of the weakest of their catalog. It’s to be expected from such a radical shift, but it makes the EP feel a bit rushed. It’s the opposite of “Humanz”: If they’d waited another few months, finished up even three or four more tracks, this could be an amazing album. Instead, we get a great single with an excellent b-side, and then… the rest of the EP.
“Winter’s Beach” is one of the best examples of a group working towards a new sound. It takes influence from the back catalog, particularly some of the more under-appreciated tracks off “Born Under Saturn”, but pushes boldly into new territory. Compare and contrast with CHVRCHES’ “Love is Dead”: They kept their distinct vibe, sure, but the album contained six or seven different genre shifts. It felt like a market test: “What will our fans like in the future?” “Winter’s Beach” is more nailed down -- Django Django know where they’re going, they know how to make it work, and you're coming along for the ride. 4.4/5 <<