The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



A Bit of Indie Disco

Lizzy Schroff | Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I’m going to go out on a bit of a controversial limb here and say that clubs need better dance music these days. Hip-hop and dubstep can get tiring, and I’m always left yearning for a little something different – something with an indie twist. DJs need not look further than a band like Two Door Cinema Club for some assistance. The group hails from Northern Ireland, and sports elements of electropop and indie-rock with a signature sound, created mostly by lead guitarist Sam Halliday’s ringing riffs. “Beacon,” the band’s sophomore effort, nicely complements their debut album “Tourist History,” which featured the hugely popular singles “Something Good Can Work” and “What You Know” (totally one of my jams last summer). The resulting album is full of dance-inducing tracks and catchy melodies.

“Beacon” leads in with “Next Year.” The track is upbeat and features a catchy chorus that begs you to sing along. Next up is “Handshake,” which is chock-full of synthpop elements – plenty of effects, keyboard, drum kit and that distinctive, resonating Two Door Cinema Club guitar.

One of the best tracks from the album, “Sun,” is highlighted by a solid melodic bass line and brass section throughout. The lyrics convey a longing for a reunion with a faraway lover.

“Someday” jumps right back in on a fast-paced, high-energy note, pulling the listener along with a fast drumbeat. “Sleep Alone,” the album’s first single, continues the up-tempo beat of the previous track and again includes an infectiously appealing chorus. The guitar on “The World is Watching” is reminiscent of Vampire Weekend’s sound, and is complemented by a wonderfully harmonized chorus.

“Settle” begins with a sweetly serenading keyboard effect and a contrast of deep, distorted rhythm guitar and soprano guitar line before diving into the heart of the song. Before hitting the punchy chorus, “Pyramid” creates a balance between the softer verses, which rely on a quick guitar riff, bass, interspersed effects and lead singer Alex Trimble’s vocals.

The album concludes with the title track “Beacon.” The vocals echo against a steady drumbeat, resonating guitar and synthesizer – all elements that are prominently featured throughout the track list. The album ends as Trimble sings, “I’m coming home.”

A distinguishing feature between “Beacon” and their debut album “Tourist History” is the subject matter of the lyrics. Many of the tracks on “Tourist History” contained lyrics as light-hearted and carefree as the tunes. However, Two Door Cinema Club delves into deeper topics, focusing on themes such as homesickness and heartache. For instance, Trimble strikes a melancholic note on “Handshake” singing, “So when nobody will take you back/And you never found love in an open hand/Shut your eyes and you’ll see under/And know you’ll always have this if you stay this man.”

Though Two Door Cinema Club’s albums blend rather seamlessly, “Beacon” left me wanting a little something more. I’ve now heard two solid albums showcasing what they can do, but where can they go from here? What musical boundaries are they going to push? One thing I can always give Two Door Cinema Club credit for is that their songs are always catchy. However, after a while the songs start to blend together. I hope that the group will step outside the box a little more with their next album. In the meantime, I can only hope that the next time I hit the dance scene I can get my groove on to a little indie disco.