#NewMusicFriday: ‘Dreamer’ by Axwell Λ Ingrosso

Over five years since the DJ trio Swedish House Mafia announced their split, group members Axwell and Ingrosso have done a good job of filling the SHM-shaped hole in the world of EDM. This time, the pair return with a more reserved dance track in the form of Dreamer.

Whilst tracks like Something New and Dream Bigger have taken the more loud and bombastic route, their latest single – taken from their album More Than You Know – maintains the same anthemic vocals in a rather low-key fashion. In a sense, it’s a song which lacks the traditional punch of a busy dance hit. Whether that it is a good or bad thing in the context of Dreamer is up for debate.

Such an indication comes with the central drop of the track – something which is somewhat underwhelming when one considers the build-up beforehand. Layered with impassioned vocals centre-stage from Trevor Guthrie, a hint of the main melody and additional tones to back it up, it’s an assortment which suggests a hard-hitting hook…

The end result? A descent into a trap-like beat which, although an interesting change of style, feels disappointing until the listener plays the track several times and know what’s coming. The aforementioned elements remain, but it still feels like there’s something missing. It’s almost like the horn-like synths push the song forward, whilst the simplistic drum groove holds it back. Whilst the musical ‘tug-of-war’ may sound like an interesting concept to play with, it just leaves the listener in this weird state of limbo, unsure if this is one of those chill trap tracks or – at a stretch – an unconventional club hit.

The former is what I’ve come to accept Dreamer as being. It’s alluded to with the soft piano chords in the opening, and a slightly orchestral-style interlude in the middle of the song, but it’s not long before this atmosphere is lost to the chorus.

For me, it’s not the first song to fall victim to a delayed fondness. Initially, Something New, the soundtrack to a weekend with friends in February last year, caught my attention with its almost guitar-like melody, but something still felt underwhelming. It was only months later that whatever dissatisfaction I felt went away. On this occasion with Dreamer, the time it took for me to appreciate the change in style was shorter. Yet, in such a judgemental music climate, it shouldn’t have to be down to the third or fourth listen for it all to suddenly click – however replayable a song may be.

Despite feeling stripped back in areas, Dreamer is an interesting change Axwell Λ Ingrosso’s dance style, and in parts of the single where things may feel rather flat, that’s where the remixs – as always – can step in to inject new life into it.

Those should be interesting…

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