Memorable band name? Check. Strong visual identity? Check. Banging single? 100% check. Dumb Buoys Fishing Club, the new project of producers Dan D’Lion (born Dan Bartlett) and Havelock – who is known mononymously – radiates top-of-the-world confidence: here are two like-minded pals that have finally found their footing as musicians, and are making catchy, highly-caffeinated alt-pop that hits in all the right places.
On ‘Fortune Teller’, the touchstones are clear: Gorillaz, the intoxicating swagger of ‘The Divine Feminine’-era Mac Miller, and early Brockhampton, with the latter’s Merlyn Wood turning up on a forthcoming Dumb Buoys Fishing Club project. Yet the track also proves that the music Bartlett and Havelock are making together is exponentially better, not to mention weirder, than their previous, respective solo outputs. Here, the basslines are tight and the beats trippy, and the pair sing as much as they rap; it’s an appropriately frantic ode to a big night out.
If it all seems like they have arrived fully-formed, then there’s some truth to that. Barrett and Havelock began working on the aesthetic and narrative arc of Dumb Buoys Fishing Club towards the end of 2020, having been inspired by the harsh seaside winter of their Hastings locale. In recent press materials, they have explained that the project explores themes ranging from youthful disillusionment to environmentalism, while allowing them to embody the characters of “two degenerate fishermen”. Obviously.
How long they can keep the act up is certainly anyone’s guess. Yet with a sold-out headline show in London later this month, plus an appearance at Newquay’s Boardmasters in the diary, it seems like they’re navigating the high, chaotic waters of their very first festival season with ease.