Two Door Cinema Club
CD CHOICE: Beacon,Kitsune ****
If they were a different band, Two Door Cinema Club could easily have churned out another collection of short, snappy indie- pop tunes, fizzing with melody and vibrancy – the sort that were on their debut album, 2010’s Tourist History, which made their name and has continued to gain in popularity since its release. If they were another sort of band, Alex Trimble, Kev Baird and Sam Halliday might have taken the easy route to continued commercial success.
But, the Co Down trio are not that sort of band. While their experiences over the past two years may have been beyond their wildest dreams, the songs on Beacon suggest that success has brought its own challenges. Many of Trimble’s lyrics convey a sense of alienation, of being away from home and of leaving people and places behind: Sun makes reference to his homeland’s “distant drumlins”, while Settle (“When I get home I want to feel less alone”) presumably deals with a sense of displacement after long tours and absences. In that sense, Beacon is infinitely less upbeat than its predecessor and for that reason it’s both brave and refreshing. The measured pace of opener Next Year sets the tone musically, and although the band’s trademark zingy guitars are evident throughout, tunes such as the brisk Someday and Spring, and the wistful Handshake mark a shift towards a more sombre sound that reflects the lyrics.
That’s not to say that this is a gloom-addled creation. The aforementioned Sun proffers a little sweet soulful swing replete with summery blasts of trumpet, while The World is Watching’s harmonic refrain: “I want you here with me” marks it out as a future live favourite. True, it may not be as instantly gratifying as Tourist History, but with producer Jacknife Lee’s guidance the band have plumbed deeper songwriting depths and turned in some fantastic songs. Much of Beacon is undeniably Two Door Cinema Club; at other points, it sounds like it was made by a different band. No matter what way you look at it, it’s progress. twodoorcinemaclub.com
Download tracks:Wake Up, Sun, Pyramid