I came across Darwin Deez when I was doing my daily trawling for new videos, no doubt procrastinating. He and his band were on Vincent Moon’s amazing Blogotheque site doing a live-one shot video. It’s nowhere near as good as some of the better work on the site: the sound is patchy and the performance is fun but not very good. But it still fascinated me enough to click on the MySpace link and discover that Darwin Smith is a talented and enigmatic youngster. He is a great example of Gen Y’s I-can-do-anything-and-everything attitude, making choreographed dance pieces to Passion Pit and short films about the ins and outs of boy-friend relationships (male friends, not lovers) as well as finding time to make an EP and an album of lo-fi pop on a friends PC.
He is just about to release his debut album, which is full of shiny pop tunes that are denser than you’d think on first listen. His sound is like a mish-mash of the 80s and 90s, with dinky synths and 808 drums, all with his brittle Strat chords, and vocals that can oscillate from sweet falsetto to laissez faire attitude in a few breaths. There isn’t anything ground breaking about it, it’s just pop. But maybe that’s the charm of it. There is a familiarity and inventiveness that comes through and makes you love it. Check out the clip for Radar Detector — some people will hate it, it’s the epitome of indie-hipster, like an out-take from Juno mixed with Prince. It’s so sweet that if you hated it, you must be bitter and twisted.