What would happen if Disclosure experimented with bassline house? That might come off as too dismissive of the Disciples new track “Poison Arrow,” but it seems like the perfect reference. The followup to their buzz tracks “Catwalk” and “Remedy” is really a fresh-sounding mesh of classic house, dub, and bassline with incredibly catchy hooks and some incredible vocal production. The vocals are layered and effected to such extreme that in places they sound more like an instrument than something human. Then there is the religious/spiritual nature of some of the lyrics which might be channeling the gospel house/inspirational sounds of the late ’90s and might be a common theme of their songs, given their chosen artist name. You can definitely hear the deep house influence of Shadow Child (aka Dave Spoon) who did some additional production on the track. The overall effect is similar to Disclosure with a touch of Hot Since 82 – electronic dance production with classic influence and a polished pop feel. On the remixes, Kilter goes leftfield, while Purple Disco Machine keeps the original vibe adding a bit of synth-pop. One thing that stands out is the guy shouting “Poison,” which might give you a Bell Biv DeVoe flashback (and if it does, then track down the superb mash-up of BBD and Disclosure called “When Poison Starts to Burn”). Together with Oliver Heldens vs Becky Hill “Gecko (Overdrive),” it looks like ffrr is finding some really great record for the summer.
Following up a massive number one single like “Rather Be” is quite a challenge, but Clean Bandit have done quite well with aptly-titled “Extraordinary.” Continuing their signature sound of mixing classical instrumentation (piano/cello) with classic house vibes, the groovy-tempoed track is the perfect bed for the honeyed-soul vocals of 16 year-old newcomer Sharna Bass. When I wrote up “Rather Be,” I described it as the “2014 take on the Deep Dish/Everything But the Girl collaborations and productions,” and this new song continues that direction with a bit more of a soulful garage vibe. Set for a June release, Clean Bandit’s debut album ‘New Eyes’ (which includes their previous releases “Mozart’s House” and “Dust Clears”) is shaping up to be this year’s massive credible dance-pop crossover in the same vein as Disclosure. I know that I will be buying the download as soon as it is available.
How did I miss these songs? Back in November, British singer/songwriter Rod Thomas (aka Bright Light Bright Light) released the five track ‘In Your Care’ EP. The songs continue the journey from his incredible debut album ‘Make Me Believe in Hope,’ as he writes incredibly elevated and complex lyrics over lush synth pop and 90s dance beats. “In Your Care” is a personal song about finding his own way away from his loved ones in a new city in a style similar to Frankmusik or early New Order. “An Open Heart” urges a shy, scared or possibly closeted person to break away from their fears to allow love in their life, produced in the style of Electronic and ‘Behaviour’-era Pet Shop Boys. These two songs paired with the somber “Movement in the Dark” and the infectiously poppy “Same Dream” make the EP an essential purchase for anyone who adores synth pop or Disclosure’s debut album.
Image courtesy of Self Raising Records.
SONG OF THE DAY: Bright Light Bright Light – In Your Care and An Open Heart