When Wolf Parade went on an indefinite hiatus last year, I was pretty bummed out. Over the years, Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner collaborated their way into my heart and had multiple albums grace a number of my personal “Best Of” lists. While I like Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, and Handsome Furs, I never really could get as into the side projects as I did the original. As word came down that Boeckner was joining forces with Spoon frontman Britt Daniel to form Divine Fits, my expectation levels immediately went through the roof.
Make no mistake about it, A Thing Called Divine Fits is exactly what you would expect a collaboration between Spoon and Handsome Furs to sound like. This is obviously not a bad thing, as both groups use many of the same techniques to form their sound (especially with Spoon’s foray into a more electronic vibe on 2010’s Transference). What this does mean, however, is that there is little room break new ground. For me, the album starts out very slow and somewhat tedious. Britt sings Spoon songs while Dan does his Handsome Furs thing. The second half of the album is where the group hits their collective stride, and this is plainly evident on “For Your Heart” and “Shivers”. Both cuts are reminiscent of Daniel and Boeckner’s early years, recalling Wolf Parade’s Apologies to Queen Mary and Spoon’s Kill the Moonlight. While the other songs of note (namely “What Gets You Alone” and “Civilian Stripes”) are not bad by any stretch of the imagination, they lack that certain something that make the previously mentioned songs so good.
Overall, A Thing Called Divine Fits is a very good album. Not great, but I’m not entirely sure that was what was to be expected. There are, however, plenty of songs of the album that make it worth listening to again and again.