In 2010, Two Door Cinema Club released their first album, Tourist History, and it changed the way we thought about indie rock. Creating an entirely new sound altogether, the Irish three-piece managed to snap heads in their direction—whether people liked it or not.
Their first album was an undeniable success. Their second one Beacon was a controversial follow up, and with the recent release of their third album Gameshow, we’re ready to look back at what we think are the top eight essential songs from the dynamic trio.
‘Cigarettes in The Theatre’, Tourist History (2010)
‘Cigarettes in The Theatre’ is album-opener on Tourist History. It’s a slow build, something not too dissimilar to early Bloc Party or even Phoenix, but what pulls the track into its own is its ability to keep a high-paced energy not only through the track, but throughout the entire record.
It’s a quintessential TDCC number: swollen with fast paced guitars, catchy hooks, and easy-to-follow vocals.
‘Undercover Martyn’, Tourist History
‘Undercover Martyn’ borrows very similar tactics from ‘Cigarettes in the Theatre’. In fact, most of Tourist History does, but it’s the unbelievably fast-paced guitars and catchy chorus that really pull through on this tune.
It’s like doing a speed run of your favourite song—it’s over before you have the time to realise it started. It exemplifies the initial appeal of the group, the ‘woah, what was that’ feeling that got us hooked in the first place.
‘Sleep Alone’, Beacon (2012)
The band openly admit that their second album was played on the safe side. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t great tracks on it. ‘Sleep Alone’ is one of the few chances that we get a proper insight into frontman Alex Trimble’s close encounters with losing it all.
With the band touring almost constantly at the time and taking it out on each other, there are a few moments on Beacon that let the façade slip. But instead of being a horror show, TDCC manage to make it translate into a song that at face value, seems to be nothing more than a head-nod worthy hit.
At some point, you have to stand back and just appreciate TDCC for what they are: indie pop music making machines. ‘Sun’ is a great example of that. I’ve listen to this song countless times, and I still don’t know what it’s about. Mainly because it doesn’t really matter.
It’s a brilliantly pop-heavy, feel-good track, and it hits all the right notes: building repetition, stand out vocals, and brass instrumentals. Take it or leave it, ‘Sun’ is an under-appreciated stand out.
‘Next Year’, Beacon
Beacon‘s opening song starts with a very uncharacteristically electronic intro. It eventually finds its roots in a more honest version of the band we’ve come to know.
There are no overriding guitar riffs or bass lines, instead it’s a chance to hear Trimble’s vocals in what almost feels like a one-on-one conversation.
‘Changing of the Seasons’, Changing of the Seasons EP (2013)
In a collection of tunes released a year after Beacon, TDCC brought us lead single ‘Changing of the Seasons’.
More electronically-charged than anything we had heard from the band before, the track was the first post-Beacon release and marked the beginnings of album three.
‘Costume Party’, Tourist History
Written before the release of their debut album, ‘Costume Party’ only appeared on the Japanese release of the record as a bonus track.
It’s more of a testament to Sam Halliday’s instantly recognisable guitar than anything else.
‘Eat That Up, It’s Good For You’, Tourist History
Arguably the best cut from Tourist History, ‘Eat That Up, It’s Good for You’ combines the classic TDCC song structure with a little more energy than the rest of the album.
Add extra synth and drums, and you’ve got a torrential downpour of sound rounding out the eight essential Two Door Cinema Club songs.