Musical Discovery: ‘Hometown (Radio Edit)’ by Jack Wins feat. Raphaella

There’s something liberating about being on the brink of making your debut as an artist. Yet to be defined by a single sound from a breakthrough single, DJs, bands and singers are free to experiment with different genres and styles before that one moment comes. For Jack Wins, previous releases ranged from poppy piano stab tracks such as Good Love to hazy synth and deep house vibes as heard in I Used to Love You. Now, with plenty of singles to his name and a brand new EP, Hometown is a wonderful mix of his past work.

Look no further than the introduction to the track – a series of haunting synth notes that hold a striking resemblance from Years and Years’ Shine that taps into the more mainstream side of the Dutch DJ’s style. Add in some light, soft vocals with a hint of soul from Raphaela and you have the typical low scene-setter to build up from.

As a drum beat grows in the background, it halts two lines before the end of the verse to create a smooth acapella with the vocals and a satisfying drop into the main melody of the song.

Cue the club vibes, with the common underlying bass notes mixed with high-pitched synth. As much as the song’s structure makes this sound euphoric, credit must also go to Raphaella, who is no longer constrained to the calmer side of her vocal range. Now, the bottled-up soul bursts out, merging perfectly with Jack’s constructed instrumentals.

If, surprisingly, this fails to get the crowd pumped or the bedroom listener excited, then the fact that the producer slips in a brief nod to tracks such as Good Love and Give it Up with sharp piano stabs should do the trick. After all, it’s an instrumental element included in tracks by artists such as Blonde and Sigala that have smashed the UK charts.

Yet, with a timecode of 2:40, there can be a sense of disappointment that comes with the end of the song. In amongst all the excitement packed into such a short duration, it’s easy to abandon that sense of structure we look out for in songs (with most songs, we know when it’s the final verse). With smooth transitions from verse to chorus, it certainly doesn’t feel like two minutes, but time flies when there’s good music playing, and there’s always the longer full house mix to listen to.

Musical Discovery: ‘Shape of You’ by Ed Sheeran (Jack Wins Remix)

Shape of You was Ed Sheeran’s offering to the tropical house scene. With synth melodies similar to that of Sia’s Cheap Thrills, it was a song destined to make its way to club nights, discos and more. Now, the number one single has been given a fresh new burst of house in a remix by the Dutch DJ and producer, Jack Wins.

Jack’s style has always seen him introduce vibrant piano chords into his releases, and this remix is no different. Once again, he maintains Sheeran’s original vocals, with the true transformation coming with the deep house undertones. It’s still the same old Ed, but with a completely different vibe – a balance which a great remix should always aim to achieve.

With his growing list of high-profile remixes getting played by radio stations and fellows DJs alike, Jack Wins’ remix of Shape of You comes at a time where there’s a lot of excitement around Ed Sheeran’s upcoming album. Good timing and the fact that it is a refreshing remix means it’s likely to get a lot of people’s attention.

Musical Discovery: ‘Rockabye’ by Clean Bandit (Jack Wins Remix)

Rockabye as Clean Bandit’s latest release built upon this new style the trio had started to create ahead of their next studio album. However, with messy vocal chop-ups, the appearance of ‘love him or hate him’ artist Sean Paul, and it being their first track without Neil Amin-Smith, Clean Bandit’s new song got off to a bumpy start – taking three weeks for the single to make it to number one. Whilst Rockabye is quite calypso and tropical in nature, fans who miss the band’s more pop-sounding style may enjoy a remix by the Dutch DJ, Jack Wins.

 

After all, at the core of the track is a build-up and drop with vibrant piano/synth stabs, which will take listeners all the way back to Clean Bandit’s earlier releases such as Rather Be and Extraordinary. Alongside a fast-paced tempo and bubbly instrumentals, Jack breathes life into Rockabye with a remix full of colour and emotion – which is a refreshing change from the laid-back original.

However, as well as being transformative (including offering an interesting alternative to Sean Paul, with Anne-Marie singing his lines instead), the track remains heavily faithful to the original – with the vocals remaining untouched and a slight hint of strings heard in the original. It’s a version which balances old and new – and that’s exactly what a remix should be.

Overall, Jack Wins’ style is wonderfully up-beat, tapping into the vibrant piano/synth chords trend we see adopted by DJs such as Sigala (Ain’t Giving Up) and MK (Piece of Me). Jack has already been noticed by key DJs and radio stations, and now, with another high-profile remix under his belt – this time in the form of Clean Bandit’s Rockabye – something tells me it won’t be long before Jack Wins makes even bigger waves on the house scene.

Musical Discovery: ‘Good Love’ by Jack Wins

The music industry is tense and on edge. Now, DJs and artists wait to see which song can be considered this year’s track of the summer. After that, the bands and DJs move on. They either go on tour, release a new album or move their music away from the catchy, vibrant style which belongs to the summer season. However, there’s still time for one more feel-good single, in the form of Jack Wins’ Good Love.

Good Love contains all the traditional elements of a club anthem, with soulful vocals sounding similar to the style of Alex Newell and upbeat piano stabs which DJs such as Blonde have used in the past. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that this track from Jack Wins has Blonde’s support, as well as Lost Frequencies, Sam Feldt and Nicky Romero.

From the fluid piano melody to the repeated vocals, the song is catchy in nature and sounds predictable at first.

That is until we hear the chorus, when alongside the aforementioned piano stabs, a deep house synth plays in the background. This is then developed in the brief second verse. It’s this fusion of two club styles which will take the listener by surprise and makes Good Love stand out in the heavily populated dance industry.

What do you think of Good Love? Do you agree with my thoughts on the track? Comment below!

Liam