Dems: "Inner O"


By George Bass | 19 May 2012

Londoners Dems debuted late last year, amidst being featured on BBC Radio 1’s In New Music We Trust and opening for Azealia Banks, with the House EP. And surely their label, Bad-Life, could sense the “electronic Coldplay” tag sending iTunes into a frenzy. It’s true that Dan Moss’ voice mirrors Chris Martin’s but without the “house in LA” inflections, and Dave and Duncan, his two musicians, cook up the luscious pop that Coldplay veered into with X&Y (2005). But Dems are livelier, and don’t sound as though they’re trying to please Brian Eno and future football clip show compilers.

The gentle breaks on “Inner O” are the sound of the city, not the suburbs, and when Moss howls “You got that rush / Shooting up your spine” he’s talking about foul-tasting chemicals and not unrequited love. As Cocteau Twins guitar noodles in the background, Moss and his buddies stack up the keyboards, making something ethereal that you could still play under a strobe light. Imagine a cut from the Loveless (1990) remaster if Kevin Shields had to work with Timbaland.