My problem with local bands is exactly that – too often, they just feel destined to stay local forever. It’s difficult to get excited about a band when you can’t imagine them going all that far. But Delmer Darion are one of the few, an alternative electronic duo which I can really see bruising their heads on the top.
Don’t believe me? Check out Haze, their new track with Emily Burns, on YouTube. Fullscreen it, watch it at 3am in a darkened room just as you start to crest a hangover, and it’ll immediately click with you. Warped faces appear out of nowhere and twist back into themselves, pills drop, random snatches of sentence, whether quote or conversation, it’s impossible to tell. It’s the closest audiovisual equivalent to staggering around a club while trying to find your mates. Too drunk to dance, not drunk enough to stop thinking. It’s an incredibly well-realised vision for a two-piece who’re constrained by distance – one half in Exeter, one half in Bath – and time; although they’ve been working together since the age of eleven, Delmer Darion as an actual project has only existed since 2013.
The track itself is also just as much fun to lose yourself in as that post-club drunken haze; it starts off with the cracks and pops of a dusty vinyl being spun, which made me wince when I first heard it, but which on repeated listens convinced me of these guys’ phenomenal talent – having been distracted by frequent collaborator Emily Burns’ soaring vocals, it took until the outro of the third or fourth listen to realise that at some point, they’d been transformed into drums pushing irresistibly forward beneath the surface layer of the track – this tiny detail turned out to define the song.
It’s this kind of attention to detail which really moves Delmer Darion up to the next level for me. This was present all over their first album All Over Again, All Over Again and B-Sides collection The Emperor Of Ice Cream, but this track marks a new departure in terms of tone.
The spacey ambient influences of previous work has disappeared in favour of this mad dash through clubland. It’s like if Boards Of Canada had followed up Geogaddi with Jack U. That might sound like a criticism, but it really isn’t. The subtlety of their first album is still there, the production’s still stellar, and Burns still has fantastic chemistry with the band; it’s just a bit more upbeat, a bit happier. If their next release is anything like this, then we’ll have a summer to remember.