Pieter M. van Hattem
For all its goofiness, Darwin Deez's "Radar Detector" exudes a sense of optimism untouched by irony.
For all its goofiness, Darwin Deez's "Radar Detector" exudes a sense of optimism untouched by irony. Pieter M. van Hattem
Song: "Radar Detector"
Artist: Darwin Deez
CD: Darwin Deez
Darwin Deez's head is home to many dubious hipster signifiers: dad mustache, corkscrew Afro that droops to his ears, a tiny headband holding the latter in place. But the New York-based Deez — whose band also goes by the name Darwin Deez — exudes a sense of optimism untouched by irony or smugness. For example, Darwin is his real name; it's the Deez part he's made up. His many music videos are stuffed with goofy non sequiturs. And, when his band plays live, it skips the awkward stage banter to dance synchronized, choreographed sequences to a mixtape of Billboard pop hits.
Likewise, the playful, bright guitar pop on Deez's debut self-titled album keeps its eyes on the sky, the clouds and the constellations. In the joyous "Radar Detector," over jangling guitar chords, hand claps and tambourine, Deez marvels over the details of his weeklong love affair. The highlights: They take a star-map tour of Los Angeles, "ding dong ditch" a televangelist and fall asleep together in a mattress store. Now the titular metaphor makes sense: Like the song itself, Deez bounces and twitches; his love keeps an eye on him and compels him to slow down and enjoy the view, or at least take a nap next to it. Deez's falsetto has a lovesick earnestness to it, but that goofy sense of humor shows up here, too: The video depicts Deez driving a miniature car and traveling through space with his new girlfriend.