Musical Discovery: ‘Would You Ever’ by Skrillex feat. Poo Bear

It’s been a while since teenagers raved in nightclubs and bedrooms to Bangarang and Breakn’ a Sweat, and for those who haven’t kept up with Skrillex’s releases since then, the producer’s new track with Poo Bear, Would You Ever, can come as a surprise.

If you excuse the artist’s detour with Diplo (called Jack Ü), when the duo released the club hit Where Are Ü Now, Skrillex has always lingered in the harsher side of the party subgenre – trap, dubstep and so forth. Now, with soft synths and vocal distortions, Would You Ever sounds like the 29-year-old’s most mainstream track to date.

After all, it contains all the necessary ingredients: catchy, high-pitched vocals (supplied by Poo Bear), and a mix between mellow verses and a fast-paced chorus. We’ve seen male falsetto from other, recent releases such as Marshmello’s Ritual and Vice and Jon Bellion’s Obsession. There’s certainly a few boxes ticked with this latest collaboration.

Speaking of Poo Bear, it’s his vocals – as opposed to Skrillex’s contribution – which really takes centre stage in this single. Aside from the aforementioned high notes, the singer (real name Jason Boyd) sets a smooth tone in the verses as well as the musician asks adventurous, rhetorical questions – paving the way for Skrillex to make things all nostalgic in the chorus.

And if that wasn’t enough, then a professional longboarder dances down a US high street in the official music video. Whilst it’s not an unusual sight in today’s videos, the visual cliché keeps the good vibes flowing.

If it wasn’t for Poo Bear’s stand out vocals, one wonders just how popular this track would be. Nevertheless, Skrillex’s exploration of a mainstream sound has paid off, and could well win him a couple of new listeners – for now.

Review: ‘I am the Elephante’ by Elephante

Elephante has undergone an evolution. It started with plucky, trickling and euphoric melodies in tracks such as I Want You (feat. Rumors) and Age of Innocence (feat. Trouze and Damon Sharpe)Now, in the DJ’s debut EP, I am the Elephante, we hear the music take a more reflective turn, in a refreshing blend of old and new styles.

Elephante's debut EP sees the DJ's music take a new and exciting direction.
Elephante’s debut EP sees the DJ’s style move in a new and exciting direction.

Already, fans have had a preview of what I Am the Elephante would sound like. Closer (feat. Bishop) hinted at a more vibrant and emotive EP, whilst Catching On (feat. Nevve) and Hold (feat. Jessica Jarell) showcased a edgy and slightly tropical feel. As hype for the release increased over the past few weeks, it was clear that the EP would be unique and diverse.

Nestled in-between the louder, pulsing tracks, we hear a more emotional feel in the form of Plans (feat. Brandyn Burnette). With a funky guitar riff, it’s a simplistic style similar to Robin Schulz which emphasises the vocalist’s voice, whilst allowing the DJ to add the occasional flare here and there. The same goes for Dynasty, which, although it’s more electronic in nature, definitely stands out amongst the other songs on the EP as a track which starts off calm before descending into a pulsing dance track.

As well as these calmer moments, there’s more anthemic songs on the EP. These all demonstrate Elephante’s new style, whilst maintaining individuality. Sirens (feat. Nevve) has a heavy beat at its core alongside a fluttering synth melody. The bouncy drum groove introducing each verse is unusual, but interesting.

Much like SirensGoliath (feat. Jody Brock) – although wonderfully soulful and atmospheric – has a darker bass undertone which really does hint at borderline dubstep style which is continuing to appear in Elephante’s music. Throughout the EP, the DJ makes use of a scratching snare as a beat drop or build (in tracks such as Catching On and Hold, for example) – a motif which may form part of Elephante’s new style in future releases.

However, if there’s one track which strongly emphasises the artist’s new direction, it’s Black Ivory. Free from the restraint that comes with a song with a vocalist, the eighth track on the EP allows Elephante to demonstrate his talents through haunting piano chords and a bouncy drum beat. As the only track on the album without vocals, it really is a chance for the DJ to show a different side of his music, and it fits within the track list perfectly.

Whilst Black Ivory hints at the future, Shake the Earth (feat. Lyon Hart) does the opposite. Released in 2014, it’s a reminder of the musician’s past – with a more hazy synth tune as opposed to the more hardcore, rough style we hear in tracks such as Catching On and Black Ivory. As the final track on the EP, Shake the Earth continues the reflective feel, both for the listener and Elephante, as the DJ takes his music in a new and exciting direction.

What do you think of I Am the Elephante? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Begin Again by Knife Party

Electronic dance group Knife Party are back with their latest single Begin Again, taken from their new album, Abandon Ship.

In this song, it is clear that the band are bringing back some of the style from when they were in Pendulum. Begin Again sees powerful vocals combined with fast-paced synthesiser melodies.

But at the same time, Knife Party give the song a slight touch of dubstep, with a complex but brilliant drum rhythm at one point in the song.

Overall, the general melody is definitely a feel-good single, with a nice combination of the electronic and dubstep genres.

What do you think of this song? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Treading Water by Alex Clare

After seeing his set at V Festival this year, I was disappointed at myself that I hadn’t listened to another song by Alex Clare. Treading Water has Clare’s catchy, soulful vocals with the addition of a perfect drum-and-bass melody.

Fans of Alex Clare that may have been introduced to the musician through his massive single, Too Close, will definitely enjoy this song. It sees the vocals of Alex alongside the strong drums and other instruments that give his music a unique slant in the soul music genre.

In summary, In the Lateness of the Hour is definitely an album to explore, alongside his latest album, Three Hearts, which was released recently.

Liam