Death By Chocolate 

Zap the World

1960s London swings again in the playground of British vocalist/pop-culturist Angie Tillett and her production team at Terminal Electric Works, who have released their sophomore album under the name Death By Chocolate. This swirl of pop-art builds sandcastles on obscure '60s covers, throwing around fragmentary cultural references and instrumentals that are equal parts neo-psychedelia, spy jazz, and the sort of sunshine instrumental pop resurfaced by the easy-listening underground.

The album opens with a cover of a 1967 Electric Prunes' ad for the Voxx wa-wa pedal ("you can even make your guitar sound like a sitar!"), cannily inserting Death by Chocolate into the product's list of endorsers. The line between collage and collagist becomes similarly blurred by Tillett's recitation of her swinging-single shopping list to a groovy discotheque backing. Other '60s touchstones include a beat-stopping refrain drawn from Dudley Moore's Bedazzled dialogue ("'Ere, my ice lolly just melted"), an H.R. Pufnstuf tune (Witchiepoo's "Zap the World") recast as an a cappella harmony and jazz odyssey, and a pair of songs from the British film Smashing Time.

Tillett runs through a Seussian alphabet to Ray Manzarek-like accompaniment, and pays tribute to her favorite car (Bentley Corniche), shirt (lime green fitted blouse), art (the Op-Art works of Bridget Riley), and cereal (Cinnamon Grahams). The words are fanciful, the melodies effervescent, and the result is as seductive as candy.


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