INDIE IS the self-confessed home of all that is ‘quirky’ in pop and rock and in Darwin Deez the genre may have found a singer worthy to carry on its fine tradition of off-centre pop eccentricity.
New York based Darwin Deez has been confirmed to play the Róisín Dubh on Sunday November 7 at 9pm and tickets for the show go on sale tomorrow. So who is Darwin Deez and why all the fuss about him at the moment?
Darwin was born in North Carolina to parents who were disciples of Meher Baba, the Indian mystic and spiritual master who was also an inspiration to The Who’s Pete Townshend.
“My parents are Baba lovers like Pete Townshend. I’m one too I guess,” Darwin says. “My parents bought me my guitar when I was 11. They also bought me drums when I was 16, but I suck at those now.”
Nonetheless his interest in music was stimulated. Darwin later went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, but hated it here, so he left for New York and fell in with the city’s ‘anti-folk’ Sidewalk Café crowd, becoming more involved with music.
“I wait tables at a vegan health food restaurant. I’m not vegan but I like health food,” he says. “My bass player Michelle Dorrance is the one who named me ‘Deez’. She is my best friend and confidante.
“We make each other laugh and she inspires me to make music. She’s never played bass before and neither has our drummer ever drummed but I love them both as people and I want to be around them. I met Greg [drums] and Cole [guitar] at the vegan restaurant.”
While playing guitar in a band called Creaky Boards, Darwin began writing his own material. “I wrote and recorded these songs of mine on an old PC with a $200 mic,” he says. “Now I’m just focusing on making more of my own music, videos, dance numbers, and mash-ups.”
Darwin’s songs eventually appeared on his eponymous debut album which was released through the Lucky Number label in April.
So what is his music like? “It’s a little bit Thriller, a little bit Dismemberment Plan,” he says. Also not many others would choreograph synchronised dance routines to Beyoncé and The Bangles which erupt out of nowhere during the middle of his live sets.
Darwin Deez was well received by the critics with The Guardian calling it “quite impressive”, NME declaring it “totally f**king awesome”, and brooklynvegan.commerbuddy saying it was “infectious…hard to dislike”.
Also worth noting is Darwin’s ability with a witty, humourous couplet. On his song ‘Bad Day’, he rattles off an imaginary wish list of misfortunes he hopes will befall his arch nemesis: “I hope that the last page of your 800 page novel is missing/I hope that it rains if you leave the window down on your red Mustang.” ‘Radar Detector’ meanwhile finds our hero cruising around Los Angeles with his partner, going shopping, and “fall(ing ) asleep inside the mattress store”.
Yes it’s quirky and very indie, but you wouldn’t want it any other way.
Tickets are available from the Róisín Dubh and Zhivago.