sun 26/05/2024

CD: Delphic - Collections | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Delphic - Collections

CD: Delphic - Collections

Electro-indie threesome's return is over-produced but effective

Delphic, looking a bit concerned at veiled accusations of bombast

When Mancunian trio Delphic appeared a couple of years back they said all the right things. They were modest about themselves but fiercely into the music, acknowledged their home city’s heritage but were keen not to use it as a tacky profile raiser, and they also adhered to an appealing and faintly Kraftwerk-ian deadpan visual aesthetic. The music on their debut album, Acolyte, however, while spirited and a blast in concert, had a job creeping out from under the shadow of New Order.

It charted, nevertheless, and the band built a sizeable following.

This time, in the wake of their song “Good Life” being made a surprise official Olympic single last summer, they don’t sound in the least retro and definitely not akin to New Order. The misleadingly titled Collections mingles carefully crafted electronics with epic indie songwriting, Hot Chip by way of The Killers. That may be overstating the case a little, but not much. From the moment the album opens with the ambitious, choral-backed outing “Of the Young”, there’s never a moment when the sense of big pop portentousness lessens. This consistent quest for sonic hugeness - aided by their producers, DFA Records' Tim Goldsworthy and Cee-Lo protegé Ben Allen - is not always enjoyable. Listened to alone, catchy monsters such as “The Sun Also Rises” or “Baiya” are persuasive but listening to the album as a whole, the obsession with surface sheen often grates, most especially on lesser songs such as “Changes” where overblown production becomes an irritant.

The exception to the rule is the closing “Exotic”, a tantalising footnote, a downtempo electro groove with rapping that hints at a band capable of very different flavours. Delphic have astutely melded the apparently endless public appetite for compressed sugar-tronic dance-pop with their own more opaque agenda. Collections will probably, once again, work better in the live arena but, while it grew on me after a few listens, I could never escape a sense of shrewd, purpose-built production rather than passionate musical flight.

Watch the video for "Baiya"

They mingle carefully crafted electronics with epic indie songwriting, Hot Chip by way of The Killers.


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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