In the video for "Constellations," looking like a 1970s high-school science teacher--rust-colored turtleneck, washed-out-beige suit jacket, square glasses--Darwin Deez (aka Darwin Smith) sings "Twinkle twinkle little star / how I wonder what you are" to the accompaniment of syncopated guitar and handclaps. It all sounds like the formula for a kids' show. But Darwin Deez is for cool grown ups.
Other members of the New York-based indie folk band named after its lanky curly haired frontman also take on the last name Deez, and that marriage helps the band bridge the gap between classic '70s pop-rock and 21st century electronica. The Phoenix-esque, Strokes-strummed sound is colors-of-the-rainbow happy but sometimes carries gray undertones. In "Radar Detector," Deez sings "you are a radar detector" no less than 17 obsessive times but then goes right back to happy with, "I drive a thousand miles an hour / ... you are always looking out for me."