First of all, the name of this musical duo is really DETECTIVE, but they shortened it to DTCV so that people would be able to find them when they search for them online. If they were simply called Detective, people would never be able to find them because they’d be buried in a hell far below all the homicide news on the Internet.
The duo consists of Lola G., a French musician who was playing in the Los Angeles stoner/garage scene, and guitarist James Greer, who also happens to be a novelist and screenwriter. To that end, the pair met at a party in the Hollywood Hills mansion of a big time movie producer. Bored with the dildo collection in the living room, they wound up talking about Super-Fuzz pedals and “the imminent worldwide collapse of the capitalist paradigm” and decided to form a band. They named themselves Detective after a Godard film. The multi-instrumentalists made their debut with an EP called Basket of Masks, which was followed by the album However Strange, which was released in 2012. There was a double album called Hilarious Heaven the following year and then in 2014 they released another album, UPTIME! in addition to a compilation of their early EPs and singles. Suffice to say, they sure keep busy!
This time around, the album was written entirely in French by Lola, who mixed classic French pop — think Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy — with DTCV’s usual post punk/garage rock sound. The result sounds like one of Serge Gainsbourg’s collaborations with Brigitte Bardot as covered by The Raveonettes; it’s quite splendid. Since I first heard this album, entitled Confusion Moderne, a month ago, I’ve played it 22 times. It’s adorable and irresistible. Songs like “L.A. Boum!” and “Bourgeois Pop” grab hold of you and don’t let go. One listen to this album and you’re guaranteed to have one of its songs stuck in your head for days, this even if you don’t speak a word of French. While many of the album’s songs are riff-driven, there are exceptions. “Capital ennui,” for example, would seem to have been written around its persistent beat. However Lola wrote it, it’s one of the best songs on the record. The title translation is basically “major boredom,” but it’s anything but boring. It’ll have you dancing or just plain bouncing around in your seat. “We Aren’t The Champions” finds James doing some sing-speaking in English, but that’s the exception to the rule, the rest of the album consisting of Lola’s sweet French vocals. (If you’ve ever heard the French group Superbus, DTCV is almost what they would sound like if they employed fuzz pedals and recorded some laid back, experimental demos.) Another highlight is “Impossible (Yeah)” on which they sound like they’re trying to imitate a Phil Spector-produced girl group. Then there’s “Soleil 2666” — soleil being the French word for sun — which is like sun-kissed shoegaze and shows you what the duo sounds like with a more polished, less distorted sound. Ultimately, there isn’t a bad song on the record. Whether you’re into fuzz pedals or French Pop, it’s sure to put a smile on your face.