INTERVIEW: Django Django (2018)



On the eve of the release of their third album, Marble Skies, and an hour before they take the stage in London to launch it, drummer/producer David Maclean chats with Chris Familton about where the inspiration comes from in the creation of their multifaceted sound.

Django Django are now three albums deep into a career that started with a bang when they released their debut self-titled album, garnered a Mercury Prize nomination and set off on a two year world tour. That segued straight into the follow-up album Born Under Saturn which nearly derailed the band entirely when they hit breaking point. Now they’ve regrouped, built a studio and rediscovered the essence of their music – that dizzying blend of electronic pop, surf guitar and postmodern psychedelia. “Now we’re back into it and excited again!” says Maclean.

With the stage beckoning, he admits that the band are always a bit edgier when taking out new songs for the first time and that they need to be worn in. “It’s always a bit nervy playing them the first few times so they’ll have to settle in a bit and they’ll keep changing and morphing and getting better and better until you kind of go on autopilot a bit and then you can kind sort of enjoy it and just relax and get in the groove a lot more.”

Marble Skies finds the band sounding more settled and focused than ever before and Maclean pinpoints a greater confidence in how they work together. “We’re definitely getting a bit more confident, but you don’t want to get carried away just because you can do something. We don’t want to get obsessed with the techniques. On the first record we didn’t now what we were doing and that was all we needed at the time. Our songwriting is getting better and we strive to keep working because we want our records to be played on the radio in 20 years time like Gerry Rafferty or Blondie or Cat Stevens,” Maclean enthuses.

In hindsight Maclean sees some mistakes with the recording of their previous album Born Under Saturn. “With the last album we went to Angelic which was the keyboardist from Jamiroquai, Toby Smith’s studio. It was a huge studio in the countryside and I guess we felt a little out of our depth as we hadn’t written any songs before we went there,” he laughs. “We ended up being in the communal living room all the time writing songs, even though we were paying thousands a day for the whole place. It’s not really in the spirit of where we came from or how I grew up with a four-track making music. We were more comfortable this time,” says Maclean, referring to their own new studio.

One of the key characteristics of their sound is the fusion of different genres and organic and digital instrumentation. “I think I’ve always been quite good at finding threads in different music. I remember listening to Public Enemy when I was younger and having that eureka moment realising they were sampling Jimi Hendrix licks and mixing in beats. Even looking at their production style and the similarities to what The Beatles were doing. These were all people just experimenting creatively. All music is a lot more connected than people think.”


ALBUM REVIEW: Django Django – Marble Skies


In the past Django Django have managed to wrangle the seemingly disparate styles of electronic pop and rockabilly rhythms into songs that roll and pulse, both on the dance floor and as highly attractive synth pop. They continue that template here but it all sounds more refined and cohesive.

Their trademark vocal delivery and the way the melodies and harmonies are layered and blended is still the most distinct aspect of their sound. The area where they’ve gained the most traction and taken their songs forward is in the composition and instrumental arrangements. They run the gamut from the sugary jackhammer rhythm and Suicide meets early Depeche Mode of the title track  through to the Jan Hammer assisted piano, dreamy kosmiche vibe of the excellent Sundials. Both Tic-Tac-Toe and In Your Beat excel at marrying brain activity and feet movement with dizzying precision and economy, while the clipped guitar riff of Further reminds that they are still a band that play live instruments.

Marble Skies’ electronic pop psychedelia is a fine soundtrack for the summer months, immediately appealing music from thinking musicians who know how to find that balance between creativity and accessibility.

Chris Familton

NEW MUSIC: Courtney Barnett – Nameless, Faceless

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Courtney Barnett is back with a new solo single and news of her new 2018 album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, due out May 10th.


Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
1. Hopefulessness
2. City Looks Pretty
3. Charity
4.  Need A Little Time
5. Nameless, Faceless
6. I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch
7. Crippling Self Doubt And A General Lack Of Self Confidence
8. Help Your Self
9. Walkin’ On Eggshells
10. Sunday Roast

NEW MUSIC: Okkervil River – Don’t Move Back To LA

Okkervil River_Press Shot 2_Credit TBC

Okkervil River continued the momentum they gained from touring their last album, Away (2016) and recorded this new batch of Will Sheff songs for In The Rainbow Rain, due out on Friday, April 27 on ATO Records via [PIAS].

On the album, Sheff has penned songs that present a declaration of hope, exploring the bravery of optimism and the beauty of community.

In The Rainbow Rain is a ten-song collection written by Sheff with contributions from his new band mates, Benjamin Lazar Davis (bass), Will Graefe (guitar), Sarah Pedinotti (keys) and Cully Symington (percussion) – the same iteration of Okkervil River that joined Sheff on the Away tour. “It was my favourite touring experience I’ve had since 2003, the first time we went over to Europe,” recalls Sheff. “I felt like a kid again. I realised how phenomenally lucky I am that I’ve been able to play music for this long.

1. Famous Tracheotomies
2. The Dream And The Light
3. Love Somebody
4. Family Song
5. Pulled Up The Ribbon
6. Don’t Move Back To LA
7. Shelter Song
8. How It Is
9. External Actor
10. Human Being Song


VIDEO: Dictaphone Blues – Bully

DB Wall Smile_preview

Aucklander Edward Castelow has unveiled a new pop-tastic sound with the first single from his new EP due out next month. The video has been floating around the internet for a few months now but it’s worth revisiting or checking out for the first time if you haven’t seen/heard it. In the past Edward has written in more of an indie/alt-pop style, more similar to The Shins than the day-go pop of ‘Bully’. Here it’s all about the production and that sugary melodic, musical rush.

PREMIERE: Hoolahan – Instant Gain

Hoolahan Press #1 Gatefold

After a 10 year break, Sydney quartet Hoolahan returned to active duty last year with the release of their Wayne Connolly-produced album Casuarina.

We’re pleased to premiere the video clip for the second single from the album, ‘Instant Gain’. It’s a song draped in chiming guitar, keening and bittersweet vocal melodies and the kind of brisk rhythm you might find propelling a song by The Chills. Precise, refined yet heartfelt songwriting par excellence.

The band will be launching the single at a show at the Marrickville Bowling Club, Sydney on March 9th.

The Hoolahan Story

Songwriters and childhood friends Tim Kevin and David Orszaczky grew up together in Canberra, swapping tapes and learning guitar via the pause/play button. Soon after moving to Sydney they formed Hoolahan with Harry Roden and Neil Bateman.

After a handful of early singles, the band’s debut King Autumn was the first album released on Sydney’s revered Ivy League label. Now hailed as a lost classic, upon release it earned glowing reviews and national airplay.

Following King Autumn’s release the band toured nationally, playing the Big Day Out festival and performing with the likes of You Am I, Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, Ash, The Vines and Swervedriver. Hoolahan split in 2007 but remained close friends.


PREMIERE: The New Single from Dave Graney & Clare Moore

Dave Graney and Clare Moore

Dave Graney & Clare Moore (The Moodists – Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes and currently Dave Graney and the mistLY) have been making music together since the late 70’s with shared involvement in over 30 albums.

Doubtful Sounds are pleased to premiere their brand new single ‘Song Of Life’, with an accompanying clip featuring footage of the sartorially elegant pair in Luxembourg last year. The song follows their 2017 album Let’s Get Tight.

‘Song Of Life’ is a lush and slinky, jazz-tinged slice of lounge pop. It sashays out of the shadows on a low, loose and liquid groove, recalling everyone from David Sylvian to Morphine, Style Council to Serge Gainsbourg.

Dave Graney & Clare Moore 2018 Tour Dates:

  • Feb 7th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at Smiths Alternative in Canberra, ACT
  • Feb 8th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at DisGracelands, Wollongong, NSW. SOLD OUT!
  • Feb 9th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at the Agrestic Grocer, Orange, NSW
  • Feb 10th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at the Metropole Guesthouse in Katoomba, NSW
  • Feb 11th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at Dangar island Bowling Club, NSW,
  • Feb 16th – Dave Graney an the mistLY at the Grand Hotel, 124 Main st – Mornington, Victoria
  • Feb 17th – Dave Graney solo at the Gem bar , Wellington st Collingwood.
  • Wed 21st Feb, a WORKSHY event at Geelong Library in Victoria
  • Thursday Feb 22nd, a WORKSHY event at Avid Readers in Brisbane.
  • Friday Feb 23rd Dave Graney and Clare Moore at the Bison Bar in Nambour, Qld
  • Saturday Feb 24th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at THE JUNK BAR in Ashgrove , Qld – SOLD OUT 4pm matinee show now added! SOLD OUT
  • Sunday Feb 25th Dave Graney and Clare Moore at THE JUNK BAR in Ashgrove, Qld.(4pm SOLD OUT
  • New Show added for 7pm Sunday 25th )
  • March 11th Dave Graney and the mistLY at SOUNDS IN THE SECRET GARDEN – the Events Foundry,74 Brougham st, Geelong.
  • Sundays in April – Dave Graney and the mistLY at the Croxton Hotel front room – Coburg, Victoria
  • April 28th – Dave Graney and the Coral Snakes – Dashville/Gumball Festival – NSW
“The Serge Gainsbourg/Lee Hazelwood/Jim Morrison/Scott Walker/Skip Spence/Ern Malley/Lenny Bruce of Australian music. A genius songwriter with effortless presence and command, and yet also an invisible chameleon, a reflecting surface, an anonymous conduit.” – Stewart Lee

NEW MUSIC: Tropical Fuck Storm – You Let My Tyres Down


Tropical Fuck Storm (TFS) have released the video clip for their splendid new single ‘You Let My Tyres Down’, complete with red wine, robes, rivers and spaghetti. The B-side is a cover of ‘Back To The Wall’ by The Divinyls, sung by Fiona Kitschin and Erica Dunn.

‘You Let My Tyres Down’ is a mutant swamp-pop blazer, surveying Melbourne’s suburban underbelly with a free flow of hair-raising imagery (“I grew up around her family / And they were such a bunch of losers / Anchored only to each other / On a sea of vodka cruisers”).
As Gareth Liddiard explains, “You Let My Tyres Down is basically about the real word; ordinary life, and how drab and featureless it seems until you write it down, and then you see it’s pretty wild. They say that good books make shit movies and shit books make good movies. So if you’re depressed and you feel like your life resembles a shit book, congratulations.”


Also announced is their debut LP, A Laughing Death In Meatspace which will be released on May 4th on Mistletone / TFS Records.