It’s not a surprise that Avicii was inspired by Nashville for his recent releases. Nashville is the “Music City” and as such has a large population of great singers and songwriters. A good song is a good song and will work in any genre – country, pop, or EDM. Nashville producers EmoTek and Leo D built this pop-leaning soundscape track with some catchy hooks and gorgeous synth work. Similar to Armin van Buuren enlisting Canadian boy band singer Trevor Guthrie (from soulDecision), the duo called upon Canadian-born Nashville resident Toby Penner (who was part of the boy band Jake). Toby’s voice has the timbre of blue-eyed soul, with the resonance of country and a bit of pop polish as evidenced by his strong performance on the brooding yet uplifting lyrics. To give the release an international twist, mixes come from around the world – Dezza (Canada), Sunset (Brazil), Johan Stone (Iceland), and Francisco Lozano (well, New York is kind of another country when compared to Nashville). Seriously, there is a mix here for every kind of EDM DJ – tech house, electro, trance, and progressive. Following the releases of Sunset & Solid Skill (“Alive”) and Hanski (“Sunlight Showers”), “Orange Sky” is another strong track from Nashville-based indie label Cloudland Music that is worth checking out.
Dance music really does bring the world together. Brazilian producer Sunset teams up with Dutch singers Solid Skill to create “Alive,” a modern take on retro-trance pop. Hmm, that sounds kind of odd saying it that way, because while it sounds like the current trance pop being produced by the big guys (Armin, Cosmic Gate), there is a definitely feel of ’90s Perfecto along with a bit of Hi-NRG. The remixes take the vocal track in different direction – Artra & Holland go a bit more aggressive with stabbing synths and harder electro beats while Spark 7 goes prettier and popper yet with a cool ASOT feel. What I like most about the remix package, aside that it’s from Nashville-based label Cloudland music, is that all three mixes sound cohesive with the same elements and emotions while modifying it enough for a different flavor and feel.