x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Darwin Deez: Songs for Imaginative People

Deez is pushing his sound into more avant-garde territories, letting a hint of free jazz lead jaunty tunes down unexpected avenues.

Darwin Deez Songs for Imaginative People
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Darwin Deez does not necessarily look like a man longing to be taken seriously. Half-hidden under a stringy afro and sporting a mousy moustache, the North Carolina native could be mistaken for a novelty act, which would do him an enormous disservice.

Having emerged with a fine self-titled pop album in 2010, Deez now pushes his sound – and varied fan base – into more avant-garde territories, letting a hint of free jazz lead jaunty tunes down unexpected avenues. He takes on some challenging lyrical concepts too, even a reference to the spectacularly complex superstring theory in the scientific break-up anthem Redshift, but his simpler sentiments also impress.

The toy instruments soundtrack Alice, a slightly pun-fuelled yet affecting tale of long-distance love. “If airfare weren’t so unfair, I would be in Sydney instantly, and we’d be Bondi-bound,” he croons, while Good to Lose lauds the freedom afforded by the single life, “with a career track, to the fridge and back”. You sense that he applied the same unfettered, anything-goes ethos to this album: a good decision, Mr Deez.