Sunday, 10 January 2010
Delphic - Acolyte
Why is it that Delphic deserve to be on the BBC's shortlist for "Sound of 2010" ahead of several other perfectly good up-and-coming indie electro bands in the United Kingdom at the moment? The truth is that Delphic are not a gamble. From the opening track "Clarion Call" you can instantly tell that these young men and women have created music perfectly tailored for the mainstream. Their sound is electronic, but the simple kind, not glitch or any of the hundreds of sub-genres that have been created, it's something to dance to, but also something to sing to; it's expansive, but not experimental.
Delphic seem to have a simple yet effective formula for their songs; create a catchy and interesting electronic tune, couple it with a catchy vocal line, underpin it with a simple drumbeat and pumping bass and then allow that to manifest itself by adding various rises and falls through the song. On the best of tracks such as "This Momentary" they add additional pounding drums to the mix towards the end to keep the song building and to create a live atmosphere, on "Halcyon" a Bloc Party-esque guitar drives the song to its climax, whilst the guitar on "Submission" seems to be influenced by New Order.
Almost every song on this album has the potential to be a relative chart success, but the thing that will really catch the ear of Radio 1 listeners before everything else sinks in is their anthemic choruses. In an album full of trite statements the chorus of "This Momentary" stands out, demanding "Let's do something real," and will probably end up being one of the most chanted lines since Black Eyed Peas had a feeling. Not all of the quite reach the high standards of the majority; "Doubt" takes all the same ingredients as the rest of the tracks but fails to do anything ear-catching and the pedestrian "Red Lights" scuttles along without going anywhere interesting before fading out.
While most of these songs will be finding their way on to radio playlists between the likes of Lady GaGa and Keane there is one red herring on this album that may find itself sneaking into playlists of club DJs, namely the title track "Acolyte;" a lead vocal-less affair (there are atmospheric vocals in the mix) of nearly nine minutes of crescendos and electronic breakdowns. It has all the perfect ingredients for a genuine floor-filler, a danceable number that builds with multitudes of keyboards, synths and drums,then breaks before building again stronger and spazzing out in 16-bit brilliance. On "Acolyte" Delphic haven't limited themselves around a verse-chorus structure as they have on their other tracks and that makes this one all the more interesting for it.
These are the kinds of songs that fit into the mainstream perfectly, come summer they'll be stuck on repeat at festivals and will soundtrack the World Cup coverage. There's something irresistible about Delphic, and "Acolyte" would have been an indie success with or without the BBC's endorsemen.
By Rob Hakimian.