29 Oct 2016

Diagonal People / Odyssey (album review)

This is a fascinating and enticing debut album; Diagonal People have curated their own style and stuck by it, not falling into the easy trap of typical indie band trying to sell records (which is by now, overdone and dull). Diagonal People have provided us with a brilliantly mixed and produced album of art-noise with jazz undercurrents and plenty of funk, and it's quite honestly fantastic. The sound of this album is indescribable, but there are so many influences at work, but it is also exceedingly original. Odyssey is sonic, with heavy, groovy baselines, swirling synths and electronica and smatterings of post-punk ingredients. It's a jigsaw of an album, made with pieces from many different puzzles that have be jammed together in an oddly perfect way.

Somehow, this band are already fully formed whilst still having room to grow. Many bands would take years to create an album as complex and diverse as this, and do it so well, and that's what makes Diagonal People so special, they just sort of get it and do it and it works. There are several stand out tracks but Ballad (Screaming Through Milk White Teeth) is a real highlight, starting off reminiscent of Jeff Buckley until descending into something else entirely unrecognisable but brilliant. Deacy Jive is another stand out, it's groovy and impossible not to dance to, it's infectious and it has something of BADBADNOTGOOD about it, which is only a compliment. It's an album similar in form to To Pimp A Butterfly, because there is so much substance to it, so much to explore and sink your teeth into. 

Diagonal People are doing avant-garde the right way, with the right amount of self-aware pretention, satire and a stupid amount of talent. It's refreshing to hear stuff like this, because it gives me hope that there are still people out there refusing to stick to the usual formulaic guitar rock that we are saturated with. This is a collective that interest me greatly and I look forward to hearing more from them in the future.


(Words: Rach Tindall)