Just like fellow Canadians Dragonette, indie-rock duo Tegan and Sara seem to be going more electronic with each successive release. Working with Tiesto, Morgan Page, and David Guetta & Alesso as well as embracing remixes of their own songs, the identical twins are finding that EDM fans love their catchy, intelligently-written (and sometimes quirky) pop songs as well. “Closer” is a rock-flavored, energetic electropop song with influences of dubstep and stadium house in its original production. The sing-along chorus and “oh-oh-oh” chant are just two of the many catchy elements. Working with Greg Kurstin, a member of the group The Bird & the Bee (who has produced hits for Kylie Minogue and Kelly Clarkson), Tegan and Sara have managed to seamlessly blend indie dance rock and electronic pop into something cool and credible that is also insanely radio-friendly. While there is no doubt that a full slate of remixes will be forthcoming, the one to reach for is the epic-feeling Sultan and Ned Shepard rerub. Keeping the full vocals intact, the dynamic levels shift from a very pretty and euphoric verse which builds to a massively intense chorus. Even with the dropouts, the energy is constant as the emotion of the lyrics come through loud and clear. Like the original production, the remix is cool and edgy while being both club-friendly and commercial at the same time. Also like the original version, their remix is so strong that an edit of it would sound equally amazing on the radio.
It’s always fun trying to keep track of your favorite EDM producers as they change names for different collaborations.? Australian DJ Dirty South has been on the EDM forefront for years with massive DJ/radio support on his tracks since his breakthrough remix of Evermore “It’s Too Late” back in 2006.? Ruben Haze is the alias of Dirty South and frequent collaborator Rudy for writing and production.? “City of Dreams,” the new collaboration of Ruben Haze and Swedish producer Alesso (last heard on the incredible “Years” with Matthew Koma), is nothing short of exceptional – moody and dark with a rock feel in the intro leading up to big room anthemic electro beats. The original version of “City of Dreams” was on the indie melodic tip and you can hear that in the intro, it sounds like something that would be on modern rock radio.? Already topping the Beatport Club chart, this is a song that you will definitely be hearing in the clubs throughout the fall season.
With the Swedish House Mafia retiring, it looks to be the time for a new Swedish DJ/producer to step up to the limelight.? 23 year old Alesso is the one to watch with support from MTV (EDM artist to watch in 2012), ?topping the DMC Buzz, Beatport, and Billboard Club Charts, and even a big debut on the DJ Mag Top 100 list.? Teaming up again with vocalist-in-demand Matthew Koma (who cowrote Alesso’s last single with Sebastian Ingrosso, “Calling”), his new single “Years” is a big room progressive track accented with a hauntingly gorgeous piano line.? The middle bridge breaks down into a rock-and-roll groove, similar to Paul van Dyk’s “Time of Our Lives” both in musicality and emotion.? Matthew sounds absolutely incredible vocally, with a movingly raw delivery which is refreshingly free of the overbearing autotune which plagues most vocal EDM tracks. I only wish the song had a more traditional verse/chorus/verse structure, so that the story could be fleshed out further- this could easily become the graduation or reunion anthem for this current generation of club kids.? As it is, the track and song are both exceptional and fit nicely in with the current trend of somberly beautiful male vocal tracks getting massive club and radio play (“Spectrum,” “Feels So Good,” “Veldt”).??