Divine Fits, formed by Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Handsome Furs/Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner, has no pretension. Both musicians, though tremendously influential in the indie world, could not be more humble. The duo did not start the band with intentions of escalated fame or fatter paychecks, but rather with a mutual respect for each other’s art, as well as an already established friendship. When the two connected with New Bomb Turks’ drummer Sam Brown, they knew they had something special, and the trio began recording its debut album, A Thing Called Divine Fits. With longtime Nick Cave producer Nick Launay to helm the boards, the three-piece produced 11 intriguing tracks, including a bone chilling cover of Cave’s first band, The Boys Next Door’s, “Shivers.”
With Daniel on vocal duty, this tune is an album highlight. Though it’s one of the slowest and most straightforward songs on the record, Daniel’s delivery coupled with traipsing percussion and daunting acoustic guitar causes “Shivers,” to leave its listeners with just that.
Aside from the directness of “Shivers,” the band experiments with many styles in this record, blending Boeckner’s raw, frenetic energy and love for crunchy electronics with Daniel’s pop sensibility and guitar-centric songwriting. The album’s opener and first single, “My Love Is Real,” exemplifies the mesh, as it is led by pounding synthesizers masking guitar riffs and smoothed out with catchy, melodic vocals.
Though experimentation is what makes this album interesting, it may also be its (minor) flaw. It’s a bit jarring to go from the marching, frenetic energy of a song like “What Gets You Alone,” into the funk-inspired, reverbed “Would That Not Be Nice” with no real segue. But this is a small complaint for a debut record as solid as this one. Each track stands on its own; there is no filler, and it highlights each musician’s strengths. When Divine Fits hones in on its sound and creates something even more fluid, it will be unstoppable. Even so, this album is undoubtedly a contender for “Best of 2012.”