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CD Review: Delphic “Acolyte”
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Delphic “Acolyte”: 7/10

Electro pop Manchester 3 dude band Delphic has an 11 January 2010 release for their debut CD Acolyte.

BBC gave them 3rd place this week in their ‘Sounds of 2010’ series – those bands that will make a difference, step it up in the new year.   I’ve been raving about them since first playing them in Sep 09.


Shit. I hate when this happens… I hear a single or two from an upcoming CD, I get excited at the talent, jump ahead a couple of months later when the CD comes out and uhhhmmm well, must then pronounce the CD as ‘not too bad’… but it’s not the shit (in a good way) that I was hoping for (ok! ok! expecting!)

Delphic (a super great band name btw) sounds like morsels of 80s Duran Duran, the mambo-less electro dance of Friendly Fires, the rawness of Enigma (minus the sensuality), and touches of (earlier) Bloc Party.

While their tracks will have success on dancefloors reincarnated as remixes, the album could’ve ‘given’ a bit more.  Vocals are generally too soft, intentional no doubt to showcase/focus on the music — albeit their strength.

But lead James Cook has a good voice and the overall impression of the album on the listener would be stronger if this was amped up.  I would’ve  given almost equal emphasis to both vocals and music, providing a ‘fuller’ sound across the album.

Yes, the trend these days (XX, Big Pink…) is downplayed, muted sounds and while that has its place in music, Delphic has borrwoed too heavily from this trend.  As my mom used to say when I was a kid:  “Just because Suzie jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge – should you?”

Nonetheless, there’s a few great tracks worth your listen:  This Momentary,  Counterpoint, Acolyte, Doubt.


Clarion Call – proper opener. Sets a tone for what’s to come

Doubt – the CDs latest single. It’ll do well.

This Momentary – a great song that I’ve already played a couple of times on the show (radio edit & live)

Red Lights- enjoyable but gets monotonous

Acolyte – instrumental. Starts off downplayed and unsuspecting and  turns into a really nice electro groove.

Halcyon – demure vocals lend to one of the album’s best tracks

Submission – 80s synths.  Why does Simon Le Bon and Duran Duran (and for that matter, pre-’84 pop) come to mind when I hear this track?

Counterpoint – one of the album’s best tracks. Great electro, plus I much prefer the stronger (relatively speaking) vocals on display here.

Ephemera – as the title suggests, it’s a short instrumental voyage into the ephemeral

Remain – bookends the experience but ends the album on a bland note.

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2 Comments to “CD Review: Delphic “Acolyte””

  1. Chris says:

    I was really impressed with their performance on Jools Holland. There’s a competition to win their new album ‘Acolyte’ here

  2. Tara O. says:

    The link also has a video of one of their best songs! Thanks for sharing Chris!

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