#NewMusicFriday: ‘Brighter Days’ by Sigala feat. Paul Janeway

The title track from British DJ Sigala’s long-awaited debut album Brighter Days, featuring Paul Janeway from St. Paul and the Broken Bones, is a strong deep house opener packed with euphoric, feel-good vibes.

With it being just over three years since Norfolk-born Bruce Fielder released his smash debut hit Easy Love, dance fans have become quite accustomed to the producer’s particular style across the many singles the 25-year-old has released to-date. Take vibrant tropical house with the occasional funk and deep house influences and you have Fielder’s traditional sound which has seen him achieve seven Top 40 hits.

These seven chart successes all appear on the album, with 10 of the 16 tracks already being released as singles. While the popularity of these songs has already been proven, it’s the new collaborations with big names such as Kylie Minogue and Kodaline that have fans interested. Yet, while they show the range of Sigala’s tropical house sound, they fall short of conjuring up the last drop of summer – something which is probably not helped by the record’s autumnal release.

Of the few tracks which we haven’t heard before, it’s opener Brighter Days which is particularly distinctive. Janeway’s vocals have a noticeable Sam Smith/John Newman twang which is far from unfamiliar to Fielder and his listeners. What’s new and different is the deep house hook which is something fans have heard more of in live performances than in the studio (with the exception of his track with Blonde and Imani Williams, I Don’t Need No Money). Lyrics like “the sun breaking through those clouds” and “holding on for the brighter days” are typical Sigala – summery, vibrant and optimistic.

It’s a strong introduction to the record, with the underlying bass and heavy, hazy synth foreshadowing tracks such as Just Got Paid (feat. Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor and French Montana) and You Don’t Know Me (feat. Shaun Frank, Flo Rida and Delaney Jane). However, Brighter Days and Sigala’s track with Nina Nesbitt and HRVY – Somebody – are the only two new, stand-out songs from the album. Yet, with so many featured artists and tracks we’ve heard before, there’s likely to be something for everyone on Sigala’s eagerly anticipated debut.

Brighter Days is the title track from Sigala’s album of the same name, available now on Apple Music and Spotify.

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#NewMusicFriday: ‘Lullaby’ by Sigala feat. Paloma Faith

Paloma Faith is no stranger to the dance music genres. Having put her toes in the water on Sigma’s smash hit, Changing, her latest collaboration with Sigala on the track Lullaby sees her venture into the tropical house scene.

Whilst Changing – to be overly critical – could be described as just a faster Paloma single, Sigala (real name Bruce Fielder) is able to bring out the best of the Crybaby singer on this track. With a steady tempo of 120bpm, Lullaby progresses at a pace which isn’t unfamiliar to Faith.

What is different, however, is the more anthemic sound from Paloma – reminiscent of Galantis’ Runaway (U & I) – which we hear in the chorus in the catchy line: Won’t you sing me a sweet lullaby. Although the artist doesn’t shy away from powerful vocals, this collaboration sees a louder, shouty side of Paloma we’ve rarely heard before – wonderfully ironic for a track named Lullaby.

There’s no doubt that Fielder has scored another hit collaboration with this track, but whilst Faith’s vocals are to be commended, Sigala’s instrumental contributions should also be applauded as well.

Unlike previous singles, we hear a unique style of tropical synth on this track. Hit singles like Easy Love, Give Me Your Love or Ain’t Giving Up all have punchy piano stabs at its core, yet Lullaby ditches that entirely for a bubblier, fluttering electronic melody.

Yet, that’s not to say that such a sound hasn’t been hinted at before. The poppy intro to Came Here for Love is perhaps the closest to the feel of this track, which seems to suggest that Sigala is perhaps designing a more uniform style in preparation for his upcoming album (something which has once again been teased by Fielder fairly recently).

Despite what the song’s title may suggest, Sigala and Paloma Faith’s collaboration is a euphoric, feel-good track, kickstarting Fielder’s 2018 and building upon Faith’s recent success with The Architect.

Musical Discovery: ‘Came Here for Love’ by Sigala feat. Ella Eyre

It’s about time that Sigala graced our song libraries once more. Save for February’s Show You Love (where Sigala was only a featured artist), it was last December when the DJ got us warmed up for summer. Now that sunny days and scorching hot weather is upon us, it seems fitting that the Easy Love producer is back with a new single, Came Here for Love.

Joining him on the single is a singer who is no stranger to helping out on dance, electronic and drum-and-bass tracks – Ella Eyre. Having previously worked with Rudimental, DJ Fresh and Sigma, the 23-year-old has quite the impressive CV as a featured artist. It isn’t the first time that Eyre has worked with Sigala (real name Bruce Fielder) either, as the two joined forces on Ella’s track, Good Times.

This time however, the DJ isn’t bound by Sigma’s drum-and-bass style, instead returning to his traditional tropical house groove. With trickling marimba and sharp piano chords, we return to familiar territory. However, as one YouTube commenter points out, with slight violin-style instrumentals, the track also has a hint of Clean Bandit to it too – a slight, but nonetheless welcome change to Sigala’s usual melodies and musical make-up.

Yet, as much as it’s about Fielder’s creative construction of the track’s instrumentals, the DJ’s other strength is his ability to showcase the featured singer’s vocal talents – something which shouldn’t have been too hard given Eyre’s past experience.

Calm and minimalistic during the verses, the focus is very much on Ella up until the chorus, where the two artists’ contributions blend together for a full-on uplifting vibe.

Came Here for Love is a traditional song in many different ways. With love as the lyrical theme of love and vibrant piano chords, it’s a traditional Sigala track and thus, a traditional summer song through-and-through too.

Musical Discovery: ‘Only One’ by Sigala feat. Digital Farm Animals

Even when it’s December, a new tropical house track from Sigala (real name Bruce Fielder) is always appreciated by music fans who still haven’t forgotten about summer. For the Easy Love DJ, he hasn’t quite finished with 2016 just yet, releasing one more track to add to other smash hits released this year (including Say You Do, Give Me Your Love and Ain’t Giving Up). 2015 ended with a massive breakthrough for the artist, and now 2016 ends with him becoming a fully fleshed out talent, with the release of his latest track, Only One (feat. Digital Farm Animals).

With vocals which sound like a weird mix between John Newman and Tinie Tempah, this new track is likely to be an opportunity for Fielder to showcase the range of artists he can work with. Easy LoveSweet Lovin’Don’t Need No Money and Say You Do all included high-pitched vocals. Now, Only One features a voice which sounds similar to Newman’s in Give Me Your Love, but for the most part, moves away from the falsetto. In the song’s bridge, we hear low-pitched vocal distortion which sounds unusual for a track from Sigala, but it works.

The chorus is always where Fielder’s talent really shines through. Once again, it contains the punchy piano chords, but alongside a fluttering melody and hazy background synths. It’s the ability to keep to a cemented style whilst trying something new within those confines which really makes a great artist, and Sigala is one.

Sigala is now a well-established DJ on the tropical house scene. Seven hit singles have allowed him to set his vibrant and upbeat style in stone, whilst demonstrating his skills as an artist. We’ve seen him feature a variety of singers on his singles, as well as dabble with different forms of house and electronica (take the drum-and-bass track Say You Do featuring DJ Fresh, for example). Now, we can only hope that 2017 sees the release of his eagerly anticipated debut album.

Musical Discovery: ‘Ain’t Giving Up’ by Sigala feat. Craig David

Craig David and Sigala are two artists at the forefront of the dance genre. Sigala offered a refreshing take on tropical house, whilst Craig David has returned to the music scene with a new garage vibe. Both of them now dominate the charts with their original styles, but what happens when they join forces to create a new single? Ain’t Giving Up is the end result.

It’s a voice which has seen Craig David move seamlessly between genres, and now tropical house is another category of music which the musician can add to his list. Smooth, fluttering vocals combine with Sigala’s usual upbeat piano chords and plucky synth melodies to form a track which is both unique and continues the Easy Love DJ’s style.

Ain’t Giving Up is the latest release which demonstrates that Sigala (real name Bruce Fielder) is broadening his horizons as a musician. His debut single – which sampled The Jackson 5’s ABC – highlighted his ability to sample and remix music. After that, Sweet Lovin allowed the artist to develop his original brand of tropical house, whilst Say You Do and Don’t Need No Money were his first two collaborations with fellow DJs. Much like how Give Me Your Love was a chance for Sigala to explore the funk genre, Ain’t Giving Up was another opportunity for the DJ to mess around with deep house and garage.

When Fielder joined forces with Blonde, it was the perfect collaboration between the two of them. Unlike Say You Do, where the DJ’s tropical melodies were drowned out by DJ Fresh’s drum-and-bass rhythm, Don’t Need No Money had a clear balance between Sigala and Blonde’s varying styles. This almost 50-50 split is also apparent in this latest release, where we see a nod to Craig David’s distinctive garage.

There have been rumours of an album coming out soon, and with six singles under his belt, fans have seen what this tropical house DJ has to offer. Whilst another release in the future would be welcomed, now we’re all waiting for Sigala’s debut album to be released.

What do you think of Ain’t Giving Up? Do you think the collaboration between Craig David and Sigala worked? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Don’t Need No Money’ by Imani Williams feat. Sigala & Blonde

Don’t Need No Money is the second collaboration involving Imani Williams and Sigala, and it’s definitely better than the first. Say You Do (feat. Imani & DJ Fresh) started with a tropical synth melody before quickly descending into a typical drum-and-bass track. Instead of the single fusing both of the DJ’s traditions, Say You Do was dominated by a fast-paced, driving drum beat, which is something you don’t hear on a song by Sigala. This time round, the Sweet Lovin’ DJ was wise to collaborate with house duo Blonde, who share a similar style to him. The result – Don’t Need No Money – is a wonderful blend of deep house and vibrant piano stabs, and adds to a long list of successful hits produced by Sigala.

Of course, I’m not saying that every single collaboration between two artists should be an equal, 50/50 split in terms of the song’s structure, but this track definitely does that. From the beginning, we hear Sigala’s pronounced synth chords, which continue straight into the chorus. Then, as the song progresses into the second verse, we hear Blonde’s deep house synth melodies. Whilst listeners would expect the transition from the first verse to the second to be a little awkward, the quick change in styles actually works and it’s great that both Sigala and Blonde’s ideas for the track can fit the same template.

This is especially the case in the chorus, where we hear the vibrant synth chords with deep house undertones just before a verse where Imani can showcase her vocal talents. In terms of the lyrics, they are catchy and positive – like the instrumental aspect of this song. However, the only disadvantage to the single is the bridge: “Now I’m talking about diamonds in your eyes/I’m thinking about loving you for life/There’s something about you/That got me feeling like“, which does feel a little rushed and abrupt. If these lyrics were repeated, then the progression into the chorus would have been more smooth, in my opinion.

However, on the whole, Don’t Need No Money is another euphoric single by Sigala at a time where a lot of fans – myself included – are anticipating the DJ’s debut album. With plenty of singles under his belt already, the sound of his first album is definitely sounding promising.

What do you think of Don’t Need No Money? Is it better than Say You Do? What do you think of Sigala’s music? Comment below!

Liam