#NewMusicFriday: ‘Drink About’ by Seeb feat. Dagny

It’s been nearly three years since the Norwegian DJ trio Seeb shot into the spotlight with their hit remix of I Took A Pill in Ibiza. What followed was a string of collaborations on remixes and original tracks – the group working with the likes of One Republic and Ocean Park Standoff – before last month, the hitmakers finally announced the launch of their debut EP.

Nice to Meet You is out on 20 April, but today saw the release of the first single from the record – Drink About, featuring fellow Norwegian, Dagny.

Once again, Seeb’s traditional, bouncy synths shine through underneath a steady rhythm – a style which has sadly become a bit too repetitive after a lengthy back catalogue from the group, yet still strikes a unique tone with calming piano chords in the verses which make Drink About a more laid-back release.

Although the instrumental backdrop to the track may appear all too familiar, it’s usually the vocal structure of the song which tends to deliver the fresh sound. In this case, Dagny – another artist close to their big music breakthrough.

Like Paloma Faith but without the slight raspiness, the 27-year-old experiments with the flow of lyrics in a playful manner, moving seamlessly between controlled, soft vocals and smooth high notes on this anti-love song.

Packed full of the typical characteristics of a Seeb hit, Drink About easily falls into the uniform structure of the Norwegian group’s previous works, yet somehow also generates a calmer pace unlike remixes such as Lost Boys and Rich Love.

If the lead single is ever demonstrative of the full picture of an EP, then there’s a chance we could see more relaxed tones in addition to club hits when Nice To Meet You is out in two weeks’ time.

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Musical Discovery: ‘Lost Boys’ by Ocean Park Standoff vs. Seeb

Hit remixers Seeb seem to have a knack for shining a spotlight on underrated musicians.

The Norwegian trio somewhat revived the career of Cooler Than Me singer Mike Posner with their version of I Took A Pill in Ibiza. Now, in their latest collaboration, they place some attention on Ocean Park Standoff as they present their twist on their track, Lost Boys.

With the original chorus having a slower beat and more atmospheric feel to it, it’s Seeb that give the track the traditional spring in its step through bouncy, off-beat synth mixing in-between a driving rhythm. Such a motif across the DJs’ portfolio may make listeners wonder what sets each song from their backlog apart. Yet, it’s always the melody which accompanies the jumpy vibe which makes every new Seeb remix exciting. In this case, three pronounced electronic notes is a small touch that makes this remix all the more catchy.

Not only that, but the initial chorus serves as an anthemic build-up to the trio’s euphoric drop – the progression to which is pretty much seamless. The track starts a tad clumsy with the opening chorus cut short, but it’s stripped-back introduction which is quickly emboldened by bolder drums in the bridge. There’s no denying that – at the start of each evrse – the track maintains the laid-back style and vocal emphasis of the original. Singer Ethan Thompson’s sound (which sounds very similar to Too Close artist Alex Clare) remains soulful and powerful throughout.

Packed with a strong, kicking tempo and a colourful interlude, Seeb’s remix of Lost Boys presents Ocean Park Standoff fans with a fast-paced club alternative to a track they know and love. It’s upbeat and vibrant, whilst not overshadowing the original version in the slightest. Just how remixes should be.

Musical Discovery: ‘Rich Love’ by One Republic with Seeb

It was only a matter of time before OneRepublic returned with another summer smash. Before the rise of trap and tropical house, the pop-rock five-piece joined forces with Alesso to create the club track, If I Lose Myself. Now, the band hook up with hit remixers Seeb for the upbeat and exotic bop, Rich Love.

Two years since their number one remix of Mike Posner’s I Took a Pill in Ibiza, the trio (formed of Simen Matre Eriksrud, Espen Berg and Niklas Strandbråten) have secured what can be described as their most high profile collaboration yet. By working with the group behind Counting Stars, Rich Love is more than likely to be the next single to propel the DJs into the spotlight once more.

It’s a combination of catchy lyrics and a fluid melody which really sells the track. Lines such as broke as a bottle of a wine stand out amongst fast-flowing vocals. Then comes a tune typical of Seeb (bouncy, trickling and with some hazy synth in the background) which offers a new style of anthemic pop for OneRepublic to play across their summer tour.
Rich Love is available now on iTunes and Spotify.

Musical Discovery: ‘Call on Me’ by Starley (Ryan Riback Remix)

It was a trend which started with Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza. A personal, emotive song about being known as a one-hit wonder ended up being the artist’s second top 10 single – rather ironically – when it was remixed by the Norwegian DJ’s Seeb. Now, Ryan Riback has continued the pattern by injecting some feel good vibes into Starley’s mellow track, Call on Me.

Adopting bouncy guitar riffs and synth effects underneath smooth vocals, the original version is calmer in nature – with a slower tempo. Whilst the chorus is more upbeat, the quiet tone remains and encapsulates the emotion of a song which was written when Starley was at a low point in her life.

“I wrote it in my bedroom late one night, on the keyboard,” she says in a press release. “Since I can remember, all I’ve wanted to do was write and sing. I even moved country to pursue my dream and spent years in London, struggling with money, but still believing I would make it.

“I’d finally got to the point where I was feeling helpless and wanted to give up. I was thinking of walking away from music altogether. That reality was heartbreaking for me. One night, this song just poured out of me. It became a way of telling myself it was going to be ok, almost like an encouragement.”

It’s an optimism present in the original, but no doubt heightened in Ryan Riback’s remix. It preserves the delicate, Olly Alexander-sounding vocals of Starley in the verses – with an exotic touch to begin with – before slowly pushing the tempo towards the chorus to suit a more electronic style. Here we see the original synth melody combined with sharp piano chords, before this is replaced with a more gritty bass sound to give it more of a dance feel.

As well as the club remix highlighting the song’s uplifting message, it’s brought a lot of attention onto Starley, with the official music video currently standing at 22 million views compared to the initial track’s 399k clicks.

Now, as the Australian singer continues supporting Clean Bandit on their North American tour, it’s worth paying attention to Starley over the next few months. The last time the band behind Rather Be picked a support act, it was 2014 and the group in question – Years and Years – were just about to make their debut.

With a successful debut single under her belt, one can hope that it’s a success mimicked by Starley in 2017.

Musical Discovery: ‘What Do You Love’ by Seeb (feat. Joseph Banks)

Seeb have made a name for themselves. After two hit remixes – I Took A Pill in Ibiza and Hymn for the Weekend – the time has come for the duo to release their own original single in the form of What Do You Love.

Adopting a slower tempo, Seeb’s new single is a smooth track to listen to alone, as opposed to a party hit to play to friends. Joseph Banks’ vocals also prove this, with a brand of soul similar to the style we hear in Sigma’s Redemption.

Once again, Seeb know how to build-up to a drop, with instruments being introduced over time. We hear the soft, bouncy synth at first alongside a clapping beat, before a drum beat is introduced. The end result is a chorus which places emphasis on both Banks’ vocals and the almost jazzy synth melody underneath it. The chemistry between these two elements of the song is what leads to this single being a unique addition to Seeb’s list of hits.

Granted, What Do You Love may not be similar to I Took A Pill in Ibiza, but their unique bubbly synth style returns to create a more laid-back, euphoric single.

What do you think of What Do You Love? Do you like their original tracks, or prefer their remixes? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Hymn for the Weekend’ by Coldplay (Seeb Remix)

With their remix of Mike Posner’s I Took A Pill in Ibiza, Seeb tapped into a heavily populated tropical house scene and offered something different. Their soft synth melodies, combined with unusual sound effects, was a style which spoke to music fans who wanted something different and saw their version of the track go all the way to number one. Now, their bouncy, off-beat style returns in a remix of Coldplay’s Hymn for the Weekend, which is this week’s Musical Discovery.

First of all, Seeb cut straight to the chase. In the original, it takes 32 seconds before we hear the backing instrumentals. Granted, Beyoncé’s humming vocals are interesting, but without no coherent lyrics or rhythm, it just didn’t appeal to me. In this remix, Chris Martin’s voice is introduced immediately, alongside upbeat synths which will remind listeners of their remix of I Took A Pill of Ibiza. However, this time, we are faced with something completely different. We hear brief audio samples from Martin combined with more unusual electronic effects, rather than a remix of the original chorus.

What is also admirable is how much of the original track is apparent in the remix. The vocals remain unscathed, with only the backing instruments being adapted and edited. Even the ending of this version mimics Beyonce’s calm and euphoric finish in the original, bringing a wonderfully euphoric version of the Coldplay single to a close.

What do you think of Seeb’s remix of Hymn for the Weekend? Do you prefer the original? Is it better than I Took A Pill in Ibiza? Comment below!

Liam