This week, on June 7th, Canadian dance-punk duo Death From Above released their first new song since 2014’s The Physical World, itself their first material for a decade after their hotly anticipated reunion.
They also dropped the “1979” from their name.
DFA, composed of members Jesse F. Keeler (bass/synth) and Sebastian Granger (drums/vocals), are probably most known for their bombastic stage performances, and their only slightly less bombastic studio music.
Suffice it to say, they’re a band with bombast to spare, and their new track, “Freeze Me,” still has that energy in spades.
“Freeze Me” starts out with a brooding piano melody, instantly expanding DFA’s musical palette. Fans will remember songs like “Go Home, Get Down” that prominently featured synthesizer. It’s a natural step to feature piano, and the timbre enriches and adds depth to “Freeze Me” – especially considering the limits DFA faces as a duo.
After a few bars, the main hook explodes forth. It’s raunchy, and drives cinderblock-like down on the listeners chest. There’s a purpose here that’s a definite evolution for the duo. They trade raw technicality for impact, and while I wouldn’t like to see this flavor on all their tracks, it works for “Freeze Me.”
I said that “Freeze Me” carries the same bombast of the Death From Above from years past. It’s true, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the maturity DFA shows with the new single.
This maturity is especially prominent lyrically. You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine and The Physical World were both viscerally sexual (not to mention sexy). “Freeze Me” takes the band in a much more brooding, even dark direction.
“Are we outside/Are we in space/So cold/So cold,” screams Sebastian. It’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a decisive step in a different direction. Compare the entire lyric sheet for “Pull Out.”
Like their technicality, their raw, almost vulgar sexuality isn’t something I want to see go entirely. I like that flavor of DFA. I love their lusty rage. But I also welcome the new maturity, which, with its continued bombast, will fit in with their catalog perfectly.
The duo said “it will not be ten years” before their next album. That’s good.