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Daphne & Celeste: From Cheerleading Chants to Indie Darlings

Daphne & Celeste, from early-00’s fame, are back.

It’s safe to say that nobody could have ever predicted that Daphne and Celeste would release a comeback album in 2018, a whopping 18 years since their debut, but it’s actually happened.

For those of you who need a bit of a history lesson, Daphne and Celeste were the faces behind the hits ‘Ooh Stick You’ and ‘U.G.L.Y’, two songs that were incredibly tongue-in-cheek and punk rock in their style of not giving a F.

Despite making a huge impression for their bratty attitude and originality, heir music career didn’t last too long and by 2002 they were no longer a thing. However, they did make a return to music in 2015 with the Max Tundra produced ‘You and I Alone’, which was actually described by The Guardian as being a fantastic “icy synthpop number that incorporates skittish beats and lyrical references to David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest and Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark.”

Since the release of ‘You and I Alone’, nothing else was heard from the duo. Many thought it had been a one-off release, yet it turned out the girls were hard at work on additional material. That material has become Daphne and Celeste’s new album ‘Daphne and Celeste Save the World’, which is released this weekend.

The album continues the same style that ‘You and I Alone’ introduced back in 2015, with the album fully produced by Max Tundra. Whilst fans of their 2000’s schoolyard chants may be gutted that it’s a departure in sound, there’s certainly tinges and moments that are reminiscent of their founding years.

 

‘Sunny Day’, for example, is a delightfully-upbeat number that takes on Max Tundra’s style whilst still being embezzled in the personality and fun that helped the duo to stand out all those years ago – it’s essentially an indie sugar rush.

‘Alarms’, the duo’s latest single, is reminiscent of Xenomania’s funky groove-filled pop. Put the track on shuffle at a party, and nobody would ever suspect the singers to be Daphne or Celeste.

The majority of the tracks on the album are glistened in glitchy beats and high-pitched vocals, which do border-on becoming a bit repetitive after a while. Coming in at 42 minutes long, it’s a just-about-right length to not become annoying.

The Daphne and Celeste sound is unusual and it’s not going to threaten the mainstream likes of Ed Sheeran or Dua Lipa, but that’s what has always been their “shtick” (pardon the pun), really.

In ‘Whatever Happened to Yazz’, vocoder vocals are sung over a glitchy, robotic beat where the duo contemplate where the one-hit-wonders of yesterday are. It’s the same tongue-in-cheek fun that will take fans back to their debut days.

 

Reminiscent of an 80s school disco mixed in with the soundtrack of an indie 8Bit game, Daphne and Celeste’s comeback release is a collage of sounds and references. It’s far from perfect, but it works sometimes and when it does, it’s just the kind of fun, bizarre music we need in the world today. Maybe ease off on the vocoder sometimes though, girls.

They might not yet be ready to fully save the world, but they could well be on their way.

‘Daphne and Celeste Save the World’ is out now. You can stream the album on Spotify, or purchase a physical copy (CD/Vinyl/even cassette) right here.

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