If Chuckie calls it “loud and proud,” you know it’s got to be energetic. South American duo HiiO follows up their recent club hits “Something About You” and “Meant to Be” with “Waiting for the Night,” a big room electro stomper equally balanced between massive energy and chilled-out dropouts. What makes this track stand out (aside from the amazing vocal performance by Abigail Bailey) is the way the dropouts aren’t completely beatless and have a groove that will keep the dancefloor. The rhythm is quite memorable but driving my trainspotter brain crazy, I thinks it’s a bit of Lee and Cabrera “Shake It” mixed with Deep Dish “Flashdance” in there. The lyrics are quite strong, also taking a different direction on the same theme recently explored by Armin van Buuren & Fiora. If the lyrics could be fleshed out into a complete verse/chorus/verse structure, this could be the basis for quite a strong pop song in its own right. As it is, watch for “Waiting for the Night” to be a big room club smash for most of the summer and festival season.
There has been a noticeable lack of soulful vocals on recent big room/progressive/stadium house tracks. This is why recent releases featuring Max C, Peyton, Janice Robinson, and Frenchie Davis have really stood out due to the powerful and sometimes gospel feel to their vocal performances. Continuing this wonderful trend is “Something About You,” the new single by South American duo HIIO (pronounced H2O- like water) featuring the vocals of Terri B. The uplifting production sounds like Almighty channeling classic Perfecto while attempting a progressive pop track (i.e. stadium house that is commercial but not cheesy). Terri B sounds incredible, possessing a voice that can be both soft, pretty europop and screaming gospel diva. What also stands out is the admirable vocal production, not for changing the sound of her voice, but obviously working with Terri to control the power and use it for emphasis in chorus and not oversing the whole record. For a frame of reference, take a listen to two songs from another “b-girl,” Sandy B, with the classic and pristinely-produced “Make the World Go Round” and the horribly-engineered mess “Everlasting Love” (with Jackie Christie). Listening to those back-to-back illustrate the importance of good vocal production and why “Something About You” will sound just as great on a club floor as it will on the radio or your iPod. DJs who find the original version to be too commercial-sounding should reach for the harder, electro/progressive remixes by DONS and Peter Gelderblom – two solid producers who just don’t seem to get the recognition for the great work they do. Listening to this track makes me want to know more about HIIO and track down their upcoming releases as they drop. After listening, I think you might agree.