L.A.’s De Lux are a post-disco dance-punk DIY duo that sound like they could have come out of 1979 or 1982 just as easily as 2013. Founders and multi-instrumentalists Sean Guerin and Isaac Franco didn’t meet so much as simply appear to each other, sometime before high school ended and after learning to correctly fall off skateboards began. Even at age 18, however, it was the kind of connection that had been years in the making.
Sean had been writing songs since he was 15 and had spent recent years recording and re-recording his own songs. And Isaac had been on a strict diet of classic and obscure disco and boogie music since he too was 15, figuring out the original source of hip-hop’s greatest samples thanks to an older brother with a DJ sideline and an enviable collection. They both were after the same thing in music—the groove, they say, where the bass and the beat align in a perfect way that makes you want a song to go on forever. They were even in a band together, but it wasn’t De Lux. But you can hear the exact moment De Lux became a band when you listen to “Better At Making Time,” the song they built from Isaac’s out-of-nowhere bassline just before practice for that other band was supposed to start: “Sean was like, ‘You should record that!’” says Isaac, “and I was like, ‘What, really?’”
On their full-length 2014 debut Voyage, L.A duo De Lux learned how to create a sound all their own—a beyond-their-years synthesis of post-punk, disco and funk, drawing inspiration from the same combination of agitation and exhilaration that helped LCD Soundsystem and Talking Heads deliver the most danceable social commentary ever. Now that they’ve found their sound, De Lux are creating a story to go with it on their new album Generation: “All of these things that they put us through,” sings co-founder and multi-instrumentalist Sean Guerin, “I’m writing it down / I’m writing it down.”