Staggering bleary-eyed from the drowsy depths of his previous album Life After Defo, you’d expect that Deptford Goth’s latest offering ought to feel like someone’s flung open the curtains to the harsh morning sunlight. Songs, unfortunately, feels like the window has been left open a crack. Daniel Woolhouse, the South London teacher’s aide-turned-music-producer has switched up his sound to be what he describes as ‘more joyous’. We can’t really say we agree.
The tempo has certainly lifted, with upbeat drums and pipes dappling through album opener Relics. Do Exist is atmospheric and ethereal, but it’s hard to shake the feeling that Woolhouse is bored shitless (or is that just us?). The Lovers is forgettable but for the completely random uttering ‘making baby’…sadly for Deptford, we won’t be making baby to this track – or album, for that matter – the possible exception being Code, the single most memorable track thanks to a well-crafted chorus and the gentle lilt of a drum machine. A Shelter, A Weapon is also tolerable with warming piano chords backing almost-passionate lyrics.
But the rest are all just Songs, without any amplifying adjective. We’re willing Woolhouse to put his back into it so we can feel something, but the album is significantly lacking passion and falls flat. Previously drawing comparisons to the incandescent Active Child, perhaps Woolhouse is trying to bring a little tenderness and tranquility, but unfortunately the end result is just dull and dismal.