Any dismissal I’ve heard of Delorentos’ charm seems to centre on the undeniable fact that they’re easy to listen to. They’re not challenging. You don’t have to wince through an album twice to “get” them. They don’t grow on you. They are immediately accessible, stirring from the get-go, and joyfully addictive. Anyone who believes this makes them a lesser band, or that they need to somehow atone for their user-friendliness, is a sneering numpty who needs to be clattered with an anvil.
That said, there’s no doubt that new album Little Sparks is greater than the sum of everything that came before it. It’s an expansion of Delos’ sound, reintroducing them as an almost hyper-real version of themselves. Their trademark hooks are even punchier, their melodies sweeter, their danceability more likely to imperil the soles of your shoes.
Album opener Did We Ever Really Try? is classic Delos deliciousness, hookier than a pirate pick-up artist. There’s an instant change of groove to shoutalong, stompalong Bullet in a Gun, perking your ears again, catchy all over again. Care For It shifts in a folkier direction. Three songs in, and that’s three immensely singable monsters, all instantly recognisable and unique. Score.
Right To Know is a rousing anthem I’d take over any of Phoenix’s or Temper Trap’s. Waited For You So Long is a gossamer joy. Swimmer is, against either logic or cynicism, an emotionally mature mood-manipulator. There’s nothing effortless in such achievements, no matter how sweet or simple these melodies, how instantly graspable the sentiment in these lyrics. Little Sparks is a pleasure to listen to, from beginning to end.
I came to Little Sparks at the end of a long, creatively frustrating day, treating it as yet another task to cross off my list. Not only did it cheer me up, but it energised me, got my blood pumping and my eyes wet. This is the easiest album I’ve had to review in ages. This was a review that didn’t once feel like work. Little Sparks deserves to be massive. It deserves to be devoured and loved and roared along to. It won’t make your heart stop, but if it doesn’t make it soar, Culch implores that you get yourself to a cardiologist.
Little Sparks is released tomorrow. Go gobble it.