Divine Fits – A Thing Called Divine Fits

Britt Daniel was due for a shakeup. Spoon’s last album, Transference, while perfectly fine, felt like a bit of a coast for Daniel, who revisited old ideas while arguably distancing himself from the breakthrough Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. Enter Dan Boeckner, primed for a new challenge upon the dissolution of his Handsome Furs project with wife Alexei Perry. Add Sam Brown – who must now endure endless references to the New Bomb Turks line on his resume to validate the supergroup construct – and you have Divine Fits.

A Thing Called Divine Fits resembles Spoon’s high water mark Kill the Moonlight in the skeletal, demo-like quality of its arrangements – often built on the Suicide-side-of-Goth keyboards ported over from the Handsome Furs – although it doesn’t scale Moonlight’s quality heights. Boeckner seems romantically wracked, opening the disc with “My Love is Real” and resolving its title line with “…until it stops.” Two songs later he adds, “my love is lost,” “my love is strange,” and “my heart’s a mess” atop a Daniel rave-up. Let the gawkers speculate.

Daniel’s compositions often reference the white soul of Spoon’s “I Turn My Camera On” and human beat boxing of “Stay Don’t Go.” But Divine Fits works better the more Boeckner and Daniel truly collaborate – the effortlessly delectable bassline on the co-written “Would That Not Be Nice,” Boeckner’s vocal over Daniel’s melody on the aforementioned “What Gets You Alone,” the way Boeckner’s voice morphs sublimely into Daniel’s on “Baby Get Worse,” the refrain of which recalls the former’s sorely missed Wolf Parade. And Boeckner delivers the album’s biggest curveball with the acoustic, poignant “Civilian Stripes.”

Most people will likely approach this as a Britt Daniel side project, but A Thing Called Divine Fits turns out to be a nicely even partnership, and a decent addition to the discographies of all involved. I only hope it doesn’t delay the arrival of the next Spoon album.

Divine Fits
A Thing Called Divine Fits