When last we heard British producer Digital Farm Animals, he was delivering delightfully 80s-dipped single “Adore You,” an anthemic spot of nostalgia properly polished for contemporary ears, complete with an effected cameo from singer Ofei.
On stellar followup “Bad Idea,” DFA cuts straight to the core, skipping the trip down memory lane for pure, infectious pop. The production remains a highlight, a mixture of propulsive drums, picked bass, and one soaring synthesizer solo, textures that sound pulled from the producer’s 80s playbook but given a bit of gloss before being trotted out to play. While DFA’s end of the equation gives the song its excellent backbone, songwriting and fine performances from Holly and MNEK (whose presence is light but subtly crucial) win the day. The chorus on “Bad Idea” is undeniable, a spectacular example of pop song craft at its simplest and most effective, Holly and MNEK’s voices intertwining for the immediately memorable refrain, “I’m open to a bad idea/I’m open to a bad idea/You know that it’s a bad idea/But I’m open to a bad idea.” It’s the crown jewel in a thoroughly enjoyable package.