Digital Love: The Return of Daft Punk


By Shea Garner

There was a select group of kids back in high school that listened to Daft Punk. The ones that stick out in my mind were the kind of snot-nosed greasy-haired freaks that lived life behind their backwards manga comics with a pair of headphones. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it just wasn’t my jam back in 2005. I was more into lacrosse and Weezer and school pranks and a lot of that other Senior High drama bullshit, I’m sure.

But my musical horizons certainly expanded once I hit college, among other things. Soon I realized the aforementioned weirdos were actually probably, in a sense, the cool kids— the ones that didn’t conform themselves to genres or expectations. I mean, Daft Punk were the guys that made auto-tune cool before T-Pain and other offenders drove it straight into the ground. These kids were attuned to “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” even before Kanye West attributed it to his genius and sampled the tune on his rap. The first time I heard the auto-tuned cry of “One More Time” on the triumphant track of the same name, I was hooked. And for the first time, I was jealous— jealous it had taken me so long to listen.

And now is a better time than ever to listen up, as the French house duo prepare to release their fourth LP Random Access Memories in May. Don’t be ashamed. You can shrug off anyone under 23 claiming they’ve been listening to Daft Punk since day one, because unless they had some really cool parents (or older siblings), they probably just started packing school lunches back in 1997 when they released their classic debut Homework. While they have yet to release a single from their latest album, they’ve been teasing us plenty. In early March, the first of a few 15-second commercials aired during Saturday Night Live, showcasing a clip of a new track fans have dubbed “Get Lucky.” The track features a funky, live guitar sample, played by disco legend Nile Rodgers and the auto-tuned lyrics “We’re up all night to get lucky.” This short sound byte has already garnered thousands of Soundcloud remixes, confirming its status as what’s sure to be track of the summer.

Other collaborators on the forthcoming release include Animal Collective’s Noah Lennox (Panda Bear), The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, Pharrell Williams, 80s Italian producer Giorgio Moroder, and American house producer Todd Edwards. That long list of talent, paired with the epic album art depicting a merged photo of the Android musician’s signature robot helmets, holds promise that RAM will surpass their meagerly received 2005 record Human After All. And as the May 21 date creeps closer, my desperate hope for a monumental summer tour only grows exponentially. After all, what’s better than being up all night with a crowd full of people getting lucky to Daft Punk?

What are your thoughts on Daft Punk? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @jerkmagazine.