Say Psych: Album Review, Confusion Moderne by DTCV

Every so often I like to take a breather from the dark distortion-filled basement of fuzz that I tend to occupy. I consider it to be good for my mental health to get some sonic fresh air now and again. This tends to happen when something comes to me out of the blue (happy sun-soaked music is not something that I deliberately seek out). Such was this album by LA-based French-American duo DTCV (pronounced Detective) featuring French songwriter Lola G and ex-Guided by Voices guitarist James Greer.


I like this album because it is a really classy mélange of classic 60s French pop (Bourgeoise Pop, Velomoteur)  and garage (Conformiste, La Boom!) with some psych and post-punk and shoegaze flourishes (Histoire Seule) which does not make it too unbearably happy (that would never do). With the exception of one track (‘We Aren’t The Champions’ is penned by Greer) the album is written by Lola reflecting, in an oblique way, her anti-consumerist, eco-feminist concerns.

Taken as a whole the album is both refreshing and thought-provoking, reflecting both the place where it is recorded, with Joel Jerome in LA, and the times in which we live…something which gives the album its edge. It is an album you come away from feeling as if you have listened to something substantial, yet it is also a joy to listen (and maybe even dance) to. This, for me, is a rare combination, and I am going to try to catch the duo on their up coming tour of the UK:

Thu 27 Oct – Nottingham – JT Soar
Sat 29 Oct – Liverpool – Evil Eye
Sun 30 Oct – Glasgow – Flying Duck
Tue 1 Nov – Sheffield – The Harley
Wed 2 Nov – Brighton – Green Door Store
Thu 3 Nov – London – Shacklewell Arms
Fri 4 Nov – Cardiff – The Full Moon

I guess when you’re in LA too you get to rub shoulders with a different sort of person, something which is probably borne out by the fact that the video for the first single on the album was directed by Steven Sonderbergh, his first music video apparently. Hey but don’t feel that’s a reason to hold it against them, its actually pretty cool!

“Confusion Moderne” is released by Xemu Records on 28 October.

You can find my other writing for Backseat Mafia here.

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