Neither Dutch nor Uncle
Bio Dutch Uncles
Isn’t it great to see a young band growing the old fashioned way? Three albums into their career, Manchester’s Dutch Uncles, a group who pitched their tents firmly in pop’s leftfield with their eponymous first album before releasing Memphis Industries debut Cadenza in 2011, have made another huge step forward with their forthcoming album Out Of Touch In The Wild.
There’s been no great reinvention, just great progress: this is a refined version of Dutch Uncles doing what they do best: making labyrinthine pop of Escher-like complexity and crystal clarity. Unlike previous outings, Out Of Touch In The Wild was written and conceived as a full ‘studio’ album, allowing for greater creative freedom, more sophisticated arrangements and a much larger sonic palette, seeing them utilise strings, piano, analogue synths and tuned percussion more so than guitars.
The band’s underlying influences remain but this time around see’s Kate Bush, Igor Stravinsky, Japan, Prince and Neu! all intriguingly thrown into the mix. In spite of this, says singer Duncan, “it’s still an album to be listened to with pop ears, and not to be considered as an overblown prog-math-rock-bloody-time-signature ideology.”
Lyrically the album is based loosely around themes of addiction and friendship. According to Duncan, Bellio deals with “the frustration of not being able to act towards our friends with the intense love and devotion we sometimes build up towards them in our minds” whilst Godboy helplessly observers the loss of a close friend to the decaying effects of addiction. The marimba and motorik groove of Fester is Dutch Uncles’ cynical call to arms in the face of adversity whilst Nometo imagines an old man returning to an old addiction one last time. Flexxin, the band’s most inspired pop moment yet written after sharing the bill with Prince at 2011’s Hop Farm, is an exercise in character writing telling tales of sexual indiscretions.
Out Of Touch In The Wild is the sound of the Dutch Uncles hitting their stride confidently, striking out on their own in fascinating new directions and it lays down an early, compelling gauntlet for 2013.