If you see their jaunty pop promos – old-fashioned, so weirdly refreshing – or ever watch them live, County Down band Two Door Cinema Club (so named when guitarist Sam Halliday mispronounced the name of the local Bangor cinema, Tudor Cinema) sort of crouch down, curling over their instruments, as though they've possibly only just learnt to play them – carefully watching their fingers crawl up and down the fretboard, not entirely sure where they're going to end up. This is engaging, and makes them appear even younger than they are, the best boys in their class, beavering away under an imaginary glass ceiling, effervescent and jangly in equal measure. In preppy jumpers, plimsoles and sports jackets, with floppy fringes and smiles, they look not unlike Haircut 100, Orange Juice, or any other floppy-fringed boy band of the past 30 years.
Their music is still sparky, the kind of sparkling indie-pop that makes sense played between The Feeling or Franz Ferdinand – their wide-ranging influences include Broken Social Scene, Stars, Stevie Wonder, At The Drive-in, Idlewild, Death Cab For Cutie, John Denver, Kylie Minogue and Mew. And "Something Good Can Work", their landmark single, "I Can Talk" and "What You Know" are almost as good as anything by any of the above. Their publishers and record company have not shied away from obvious marketing ruses either, and their songs have been used on soundtracks, TV shows and ad campaigns (including one for Credit Agricole).
Starting off with the jangle is fair enough – it's where a lot of bands start, honouring their record collections, wanting to sound a little like the Beatles, the Byrds, Marshall Crenshaw, or indeed Foals – but it's where the jangle leads that turns the idea into a journey. As Two Door Cinema Club begin recording their second album – moving on from the "small pop songs" on their first ("If you want to play stadiums then you've got to write stadium songs," says bassist Kevin Baird), they should be mindful of Saul Bellow, who said, "any artist should be grateful for a naïve grace which puts him beyond the need to reason elaborately". Which means keeping the jangle.
Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'Reuse content