The quirky natured New Yorkers fronted by the wonderful Darwin Smith are back, bringing with them a delightful narrative-led record which depicts exactly what it says on the tin. 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart could not be more literal, this is an album of love, loss and a rekindling heart; if you were a fan of the Darwin Deez debut back in 2010, you’ll certainly find some familiar territory here.
We kick the record off with ‘The World’s Best Kisser’ and are introduced to the main protagonist and antagonist of the record, the: “Girl who believes in nothing / She wears a lot of black / And isn’t very trusting”. The entire album revolves around Darwin’s interaction with this girl which entails a rollercoaster of emotions. The initial track makes for a strong opening, as the two get to know each other under a synth sound crossing with a clean percussion section and creating a blurring of delectable sound: definitely a memorable start to get this ball rolling.
From here we truly enter the intimate twists and turns of the relationship, whether it be the cool neon lit colours depicted in ‘Queen Of Spades’ where the upbeat dreamy indie tones really create a fun and infectious vibe that you can’t help but bop along to. The vibrancy of the lyricism behind the track really puts you in the middle of a casino and feels as though you are also being thrown around the roulette wheel watching the events unveil. All is not well though as we digress through, the tone soon changes during ‘Say It First’ and we realise the one sided nature of the relationship. This track in particular feels very much like something from the band’s debut but with a far more matured overtone. Darwin has clearly developed greatly as a musician, using a synonymous level of wit and humour mixed with real incidences to create something which is truly poetic.
The record continues in a similar manner, showing the highs and lows but all cased inside of a dreamy indie sound. Whilst many may have felt that the second and third records saw Darwin Deez losing the sense of realism which made their name to begin with, 10 Songs seems to have found the perfect blend of early indie vibes but brought eloquently into 2018.
A decade in the business is a great deal of time for any band to stay relevant and it finally feels as though Darwin Deez have found their place in the scene once again. This can definitely be shown through the penultimate track, ‘Someone New’, which sees a return to a minimal, bouncy, indie sound which feels like dancing on a cloud top, once again being driven by Darwin’s fantastic lyricism, whilst the chaotic but oddly cohesive instrumentals blend delightfully with each other.
All in all, it feels like a triumphant return for Darwin Deez, which could certainly return them to their once empire-like pedestal. 10 Songs That Happened When You Left Me With My Stupid Heart is a record which not only captures reality and authenticity, but equally ties in the delightful quirkiness which Darwin Deez have mastered more than any other group in the scene today.
It may have taken a while, but the band have truly mastered capturing the thin line between having a lust for love and then having it come crashing down. The level of experimentation and creativity behind a record like this makes it an album that is more than worth your time, and whether you’re a fan or not, it deserves a definite calibre of respect.