A roundup of hot new house, dubstep and progressive electro for the week.
Alesso ft Tove Lo - "Heroes" - [ISLAND / DEF JAM]
We mentioned "Heroes in addition to Alesso's banger "Tear the Roof Up" last month
, but upon hearing the final version decided it deserves another mention. There are a lot of anthemic progressive house records out there that sound pretty interchangeable, but something about "Heroes" makes it stand out. The synth hook is simple but really memorable and the guitar-ish intro gives it a really fresh feel. The vocal by Tove Lo (currently having a leftfield pop with the weed anthem "Stay High") is what really takes it over the top wit the unifying theme, uplifting lyrics, and singalong chorus. It truly sounds like the theme for a new generation of PLUR-filled ravers.
Blonde - I Loved You - [FFRR]
The UK duo Blonde is reliving the '90s with each song they release. If "Foolish" was their ode to R&B pop and "Higher Ground" was inspired by credible house mixes of artists like Moloko
, then "I Love You" is the middle ground. There was that time in the '90s when every commercial R&B girl band started getting garage/house mixes for further crossover. "I Loved You" sounds like a remix of Eternal
, but sweetened up to be a pop song in its own right . The chorus is insanely catchy and the vocals are timestretched just enough so you know that they weren't originally sung at house tempo. As retro as it sounds, it feels completely modern in this Duke Dumont
moment we are currently experiencing - kitsch and cool at the same time.
Clean Bandit ft Sharna Bass - Extraordinary - [BIG BEAT]
Following up a massive number one single like "Rather Be" is quite a challenge, but Clean Bandit have done quite well with the 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. Listening to their album 'New Eyes," "Extraordinary" is the most similar to "Rather Be" with a bit more of a soulful garage vibe. The strong set of UK mixes by Sigma
(drum and bass), DJ Zinc
(bassline), and Bontan
(cut and paste house) and joined by new US mixes by Still Young
(stadium house) and Martin Ikin
(two step). One thing to note is that even across the different genres, the song's original elements are used respectfully keeping the integrity of the song while translating for different audiences.
Datsik and Protohype - Zero - [FIREPOWER]
When an internet meme gets translated into an EDM record, the results can be epic or cheesy. Giving "zero fucks" dates back more than five years as a popular graphic/prhase for not caring. Dillon Francis
infamously riffed on it with "IDGAFOS." Producers Datsik and Protohype meld dubstep and trap for an aggressive yet humorous track with the main vocal sample repeating "How many fucks you give." Yes, it is simple but so effective and makes for a great party track for blowing off steam or just a track to send to someone who is trying to bring drama into your life. As dark as the production the gets, the satirical/humorous vocal is what makes this instantly memorable to the point of possibly becoming a meme itself.
Example - 10 Million People - [EPIC]
If for some reason, you haven't checked out Example's brilliant 'Live Life Living,' maybe the new single "10 Million People" will convince you. Coproduced and cowritten with Fraser T Smith (Grammy-winning producer of Adele
) and Alf Bamford (aka hard dance producer Technikal
), it's a synth-pop-based house record with a vibe similar to Disclosure that showcases Example's rap and singing skills. The shift between the two vibes is as seamless as the lyrics are optimistic and happy. Full of retro pop culture references (Flight of the Navigator
, Duran Duran's "Rio"), the song is about being free and partying with friends while escaping from people who try to put an end to the good times. The lyrics about "no phones, no cameras" make it an ideal fantasy, could you imagine how much more fun the club would be if you weren't bothered by a phone or people taking flash pictures while dancing? Remix-wise, the various quality house flavors of Critikal
, Eli and Fur
, and Mike Milrain
are sharply contrasted by a slamming drum and bass mix by Kove
. Which leaves the only question, what is the title referring to? The size of a megacity, the number of people who now have health care under the Affordable Care act, the number of paid subscribers of Spotify? Definitely a question, that is perfect for the next interview.