#NewMusicFriday: ‘Just Got Something’ by Codeko feat. Alex Winston

Lyrically speaking, it has the traditional make-up of a summer dance song. Cue vague and confusing lyrics about something romantic or some unorthodox relationship. Yet, it’s the instrumental elements of Codeko and Alex Winston’s Just Got Something which gives this track an edge.

A fluid, off-beat drum beat allows for some interesting experimentation with pace and tempo throughout the song, Winston’s soft vocals often overlapping with the snappy snare drum. It’s this bouncy rhythm already established at the start of the song which lends itself to the track’s build-up, working alongside pulsing, hazy synth to create suspense before the main hook.

The melody itself clearly establishes what sort of vibe the song wanted to go for. Pronounced synth notes which sound somewhat like trumpets allude to a carnival tone, complete with an electronic fanfare. Mix that with a punchy drum beat and you have something a lot more interesting…

Just Got Something is available now, both on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Musical Discovery: ‘Silence’ by Marshmello feat. Khalid

We all remember when The Chainsmokers dominated the UK charts. Andrew Taggart’s mumbling and groaning vocals defined their style as DJs and meant that any other track by another artist with the same low vocals would be labelled repetitive or ‘samey’. It’s since been used by Frank Ocean (in Calvin Harris’ Slide) and OneRepublic (in Rich Love), but now the hit DJ Marshmello has offered his take on the more chilled side of dance with his track, Silence.

Every now and then, the masked musician (whom everyone has now assumed to be Chris ‘Dotcom’ Comstock despite no official confirmation) lurches back into the mainstream and moves away from the snappy trap and electronic vocals. The last track to do so was the 2016 single Ritual, which saw the singer Wrabel step up to the mic with high-pitched emotion. Now, Marshmello has done the complete opposite, adopting a slow tempo and low tone for his with release of the year.

This sudden shift could very well be part of what makes it distinctive, but there’s no denying that Khalid is the centre of attention on Silence. There’s a sense that Marshmello’s backed away this time around, sticking to soft piano chords, pulsing synth and plucky guitars which underlie the 19-year-old’s soulful lyrics.

Described by the American singer as being ‘a sad song… about being content with loneliness and turning it into a positive’, it makes sense that the vocals are raspy and the instrumental aspect of the track is stripped back. Lines such as ‘love only left me alone, but I’m at one with the silence‘ and ‘I found peace in your violence‘ demonstrate the reflective nature of Silence. It’s far from being a song for people to dance along to, but it’s certainly one for fans to wave their phones in the air for when the DJ gives it a spin during his August and September shows.

Silence is now available on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube.

Musical Discovery: ‘Summer on You’ by Sam Feldt x Lucas & Steve feat. Wulf (Club Edit)

A lot of songs have taken their time to grow on me lately. Whether that’s because the song isn’t something I’d usually listen to, or because I’m not in the mood for new music, it’s only after the third listen (or more) that a track starts to finally grow on me. Summer On You feat. Wulf, is one of these songs, and is this week’s Musical Discovery.

On the first few listens, I fell in love with the fuzzy synth melody, but the forgettable lyrics were enough to stop me from having this track on repeat for weeks and weeks. It was only after a few more listens that I realised that Wulf’s soft vocals create a nice juxtaposition between these verses and the loud, pulsing chorus. However, that being said, the chorus still dominates the song, with Wulf’s voice being an unimportant interlude between drops.

Most of us will remember Sam Feldt as being the DJ behind a chilled remix of Robin S’ dance classic, Show Me Love. In Summer on You, we still see this chilled style apparent in the vocals and the opening guitar strum, but for most of the song we see a different track from Feldt. In the dance/club genre at the moment, we’ve seen many tropical synth melodies, but this fuzzy tune really does stand out.

What do you think of Summer on You? Have you heard of Sam Feldt and his remix of the Robin S classic, Show Me Love? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Jasmine’ by The Magic Gang

The Magic Gang was a band recommended to me by a friend – which is unusual. It’s not because I don’t usually receive music recommendations from friends (far from it), but a lot of the people I know tend to stick to artists and bands I’ve heard of. For those who don’t know, my music taste is pretty much everything. I love electronic music, but anything which makes it into the UK Top 40 is fine by me – so long as it isn’t rap, hip-hop, heavy metal or ‘screamo’. The Magic Gang are different.

Whilst they may still have the plucky, summery guitar strings which every alternative band seems to be adopting these days, they certainly stand out from the crowd. In particular, their track Jasmine caught my eye (or should I say, ear?), for being distinctive, catchy and upbeat.

It starts with a bouncy drum beat we can all clap along to, before introducing the main guitar melody which also seeps into the vocals. Throughout the song, we also hear the pronounced guitar chord progression during lines such as you’ll be doing fine and starts to fade on me. We’re also treated to a colourful instrumental solo towards the end of the song which really captures the vibrancy of the song. Jasmine is clearly something to be played in the car radio on a bright, sunny day.

The Magic Gang are unlike any other summer band in the sense that they have control. Circa Waves’ T-Shirt Weather, The 1975’s Chocolate and practically anything by Two Door Cinema Club tends to have a moment of soul during the chorus. Whilst that is respectable, it’s about time we had a track which didn’t have a chant-like chorus in an attempt to be memorable. Jasmine is still catchy in terms of its instrumentals, and then in terms of the vocals, they are soft, mellow and relaxed. The chilled vibe is definitely contagious when listening to this track.

If you want a break from the excitement generated by all other ‘summer tracks’, then Jasmine by The Magic Gang may be the song for you.

What do you think of Jasmine? Have you heard of The Magic Gang? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘No Money’ by Galantis

Galantis has always been teasing me with their music style. Runaway (U & I) had progressive and soulful vocals, but I was then put off by the distorted vocals in the chorus. Meanwhile, Revolution sounded far too similar to Swedish House Mafia’s classic Don’t You Worry Child. But now, Galantis’ new track – No Money – really does stand out in the dance genre and is this week’s Musical Discovery.

Admittedly, No Money also adopts the same style of ‘whiny’ vocal distortion seen in Runaway (U & I), but it is more fitting. Unlike the hard, hazy synth chorus in Runaway, this single has soft, fluttering synth stabs which is always key to a good song in my opinion.

Very much like Peanut Butter Jelly, this song suggests contains repetitive and simplistic lyrics. Whilst it would be nice to see some creativity from a lyrical perspective in this song, it’s not completely essential. In fact, this energy is instead placed into the chorus, where piano stabs combine with a bubbly synth melody and the occasional special effects. If anything, the repeated vocals adds to the idea of this song being a chant or anthem. When you look at the chorus and the lyrics together, there’s certainly a possibility that this song is set to be a summer anthem.

What do you think of No Money? Is it as good as Runaway (U & I) and Peanut Butter Jelly? Could it be a summer anthem? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: ‘Lush Life’ by Zara Larsson

Today I thought I would upload a bonus Musical Discovery post – and it’s quite a special one. I know it’s only the start of Spring, but it’s not long before it’s festival season and music critics aim to predict ‘the song of the Summer’. Last week, I rediscovered Lush Life by Zara Larsson and have been listening to it constantly. It’s this week’s bonus Musical Discovery, but can it also be the song of the summer?

Well, mentioning summer in the song is definitely a good start. Aside from that, it’s a song which has something for everyone. At the moment, the current music trend seems to be tropical house. Whilst it’s not up there with Kygo and other DJs, the bouncy, deep house synth certainly reminds me of that style of music.

Then, with Zara’s R&B vocals, there’s more diversity in the track. After browsing the comments on the song’s music video, some commenters are right in saying that her voice is similar to Rihanna’s. Sassy and soulful female singers in the R&B genre are doing well in the charts, so it’s another box which Lush Life ticks.

It’s fair to say that this single from Zara Larsson certainly fits into the current trends of today’s music industry. With that in mind, I really do think this song will be everywhere this summer.

What do you think of Lush Life? Will it be this year’s summer anthem? Comment below!

Liam

Musical Discovery: Summer Tracks of 2015

At the moment, we are right in the middle of a hot summer, and musicians will be quick to release singles or albums in an attempt to become 2015’s “summer anthem” or number 1. With that in mind, today’s Musical Discovery will take a look at some potential contenders that I’ve happened to stumble across recently…

 

Come and Get It by John Newman

When comparing John Newman’s latest track to his debut song Love Me Again, it’s clear that the artist is exploring a new style. Instead of a fast-paced drum beat, the rhythm feels more laid-back. However, that doesn’t stop the track from being a huge summer track this year.

With a groovy, plucky and slightly off-beat guitar riff, the style of riff is very similar to that of The 1975 (particularly tracks such as GirlsSettle Down and Chocolate). But aside from that, John Newman’s new brand of soulful vocals for this track see the singer take his music in a new direction.

However, that is not to say that Newman has completely abandoned his old style. Especially in the chorus, there’s the traditional fanfare of trumpets combined with simplistic but catchy lyrics that will remind fans of his first album.

Whilst I do like the song, the potential for it to be a summer track is likely. But the track, in my opinion, brings nothing new to what would be a very competitive summer of music.

 

T-Shirt Weather by Circa Waves

Despite the song being released in March this year, there is a slight possibility that this song could resurface and become a summer track for 2015.

I’ve heard this way back in March, then again when I saw Circa Waves at this year’s Glastonbury. Since then, the song has been growing on me…

Straight away, the catchy guitar riff definitely implies that this track has an upbeat and vibrant feel to it. As well as that, the chorus itself continues with the catchy and memorable aspect of the song, containing easy-to-remember lyrics and a ‘bouncy’ drum rhythm. Lastly, the singer’s vocals, also create a style and idea that this song is a perfect summer track to listen to this year.

 

How Deep is Your Love by Calvin Harris and Disciples

Immediately, the deep house style wouldn’t strike listeners as belonging to Calvin Harris (instead it belongs to dance group Disciples). However, this low bass tone quickly mixes with Harris’ catchy piano stabs, implying that this is a fairly balanced collaboration between Calvin Harris and Disciples.

Additionally, a variety of melodies, along with a driving drum beat create a busy but exciting chorus. Later on in the track, the last verse uses synthesised vocals to create a style similar to Daft Punk. Whilst this is something unexpected for Harris’ listeners, it works well with this track which appears to be a mixture of different melodies and styles.

With soulful vocals, this song has all the fundamental styles required for a memorable summer dance anthem. With the piano stabs being mimetic of Harris’ 2014 summer hit Summer (one of the biggest summer tracks of last year), I think this track may follow suit and create another successful summer track for the DJ.

 

What do you think will be this year’s summer track/anthem? Comment below!

Liam