Daphne Loves Derby – Goodnight, Witness Light

  • Bobby Gorman posted
  • Reviews

Daphne Loves Derby

Goodnight, Witness Light - Outlook Music

I recently filled up my iPod.

Yes, that’s a weird statement to start off a review with, but it’s true – and it’s relevant. You see, now that my iPod is full it means that whenever I get a new CD it has to be deemed worthy to get a limited spot on my iPod; because if I add a new CD it means I need to delete an old one. Daphne Loves Derby‘s debut album, On The Strength Of All Convinced, was one of the very first albums I deleted off my iPod when it was nearly full and while their sophomore album, Good Night, Witness Light, did make it’s way onto my iPod for a short time it will be gone the next time I need to add a new CD – well, everything except one song – for despite one glowing exception, Good Night, Witness Light is incredibly boring and flat.

Having built up a feverish fan base thanks to MySpace and PureVolume, Daphne Loves Derby quickly found a home at Outlook Music to release their debut album. It was realatively well received by the indie rock scene, and those same people will probably find solace in Good Night too; but as I listen to it, I can’t understand why that is. Following in the footsteps of bands like CopelandDaphne Loves Derby spit out a laid back, indie rock sound build around layered guitars and a soaring voice. Sadly though, Kenny Choi’s vocals aren’t anything special and become stagnant after only a few listens.

That, in a way, sums up Daphne Loves Derby perfectly. They aren’t bad, but they are far from impressive and becomes very repetitive very quickly. There’s a few catchy moments but for the most part they become forgettable as they dissolve into the background. The few times they switch it up – like the hollow intro of Hello Color Red, the staccato guitar start to Stranger, You And I or the marching band drum set on Marching Band Intro – help spike up the interest a bit, but those moments are few and far between. Instead the album drowns in a sea of steadyness and mediocrity as you’re forced to hear the same structure during every track with very little variation.

The one time they do truly deviate from that course of action is with Cue The Sun!, a song that almost didn’t make the cut but remains the album’s saving grace. This slow acoustic track finally sees Choi giving himself a signature style in his vocal delivery and captivates your entire attention – something that the rest of the album fails to do. Every little aspect of this song works, the tambourine and the harmonica are both surprising but intelligent additions to the track and you’re left heading into the final five tracks on a positive note. Unfortunately those five tracks aren’t able to build on the momentum and the album soon dissolves into the background again.

This is a band that is trying to be Copeland, trying to be Jack’s Mannequin, and trying to be The Rocket Summer; but they just can’t do it. There’s no momentum, no energy, and worst of all, no originality. They keyboards are barely present and there’s rarely anything to make them stand out. Other than Cue The Doves!, the rest of Good Night will soon be deleted to clear up room on my iPod because I know if they ever came up in random play I would just skip to the next song after a few seconds anyway.