Lise Cabble – Tjekker Ind Og Ud

“Stick with it because it gets there.”

Tim: Lise’s Danish. and is quite the prolific songwriter, with multiple Danish Eurovision entries under her belt, and more than a few national finalists over the past couple of decades. Finally, though, she’s chosen to take centre stage with some actual singing! I’m fairly sure it’ll start off in your ‘why can’t this dance tune have a proper beat to it’ zone, but stick with it because it gets there.

Tim: Nice one?

Tom: I’m really, really, not convinced it does. Honestly, my attention wandered while trying to listen to it, and when I realised that I started it again. Only to — sorry, while writing that sentence I drifted off to look at some paint dry.

Tim: Seriously, though?

Tom: I exaggerate, but not overwhelmingly.

Tim: For me it’s in a kind of Alan Walker album track type zone – that starts off based on those few seconds after 0:20 into the chorus, which is very much like one of his tracks that I can’t place right now but then when we get our first proper instrumental breakdown it’s fully on board, and you might not believe this, but actually I quite like that.

Tom: I mean, I believe it, but only because we have disagreed about much more interesting bits of music than this.

Tim: It’s perhaps not a song I’ll listen to a whole lot – but I’ll like it when it comes on, and I’m fairly sure that’s good enough. Maybe don’t quit the writing. though.

Cedric Gervais & Chris Willis – Turn Your Love Around

“It’s exactly the sort of middle-of-the-road not-quite-funky-house track that I quite like.”

Tom: I’ll be honest, I mostly clicked on this because I was intrigued by the name “Cedric Gervais”.

Tim: Yep, entirely fair.

Tom: Turns out he’s a Miami-based French DJ, and this sounds like someone’s combined late Motown and early Daft Punk with the song structure from a track on an early-2000s dance compilation.

Tim: That is…yeah, specific but exactly right. A good sound, I’d say.

Tom: It’s exactly the sort of middle-of-the-road not-quite-funky-house track that I quite like, and that will probably be utterly ignored because that’s just not a genre the world’s interested in right now. Which feels like a shame, really.

Tim: Also true. Mind you, earlier today I was listening to a playlist of Ultrabeat, DJ Sammy, Kelly Llorenna, September and the like, and this fits perfectly.

Topic x Vigiland x Christopher – Let Us Love

“Shall we see what today’s international cooperation brings us?”

Tim: A German producer, a Swedish musical duo, a Danish singer. Shall we see what today’s international cooperation brings us?

Tim: That’s a nice track, right?

Tom: “Nice” seems about right.

Tim: It does everything it needs to, has a nice tune, good vocals, decent beat to it, enjoyable while it’s playing, I wouldn’t stop dancing if it came on in a club, and I can even remember the chorus of it afterwards. So…why don’t I have anything to say about it?

Tom: Oh, Tim, welcome to how I feel about nearly all new pop music. It’s okay.

Tim: It’s nice, it’s good, it’s fine. It’s just…yeah, no problems.

NOTD, Shy Martin – Keep You Mine

“Certainly better than Alan’s new trash.”

Tim: Alan Walker has a new one out with A$AP Rocky right now, and sadly it’s utter garbage.

Tom: Which is an achievement, given you’ve previously said “as long as Alan had full control of everything there’s only so much that could really go wrong”.

Tim: Well, that one’s equal billing, I still stand by it. In any case, this is quite Walker-y.

Tom: That verse is a bit Ellie Goulding, isn’t it? Not massively, but just enough in vocal quality, production and style of synths.

Tim: We’ve featured NOTD previously, though not Shy Martin; she’s also Swedish, and previously has mainly kept herself busy with writing. Together they provide a nice melody, good vocals, top production, and a total and expected lack of middle eight.

Tom: Not sure about the Alan comparison though: guitar wasn’t exactly a common thing for him to include.

Tim: True, but it certainly shares a lot of the same synth sounds and patterns. It’ll do nicely, either way – certainly better than Alan’s new trash.

Alan x Walkers – Unity

“It’s been literally designed by committee!”

Tim: Yep, he’s gone and made a track with his fans, which I guess is both a nice thing to do and a way of getting a load of stuff done for free. Hooray!

Tom: Genuinely disappointed he didn’t go with “Alan and the Walkers”. And, to be fair, co-ordinating this sort of project is at least as big a challenge as trying to make something yourself from scratch.

Tom: It’s been literally designed by committee! That never goes wrong. Or, more correctly, it rarely produces anything exceptional.

Tim: True. Mind you, aside for the fact that the instrumental line directly before the third and fourth “we are unity”s in each chorus is the exact same melody that can be found in Faded (or maybe that’s the point), this sounds like a perfectly decent Alan Walker track.

Tom: It sounds like this was more a way to galvanise the fans than it was to create a big proper release. So while it’s nothing special, I suspect that’s exactly the point.

Tim: Could have been a recipe for disaster, though I guess as long as Alan had full control of everything there’s only so much that could really go wrong. It’s a good track. Hey, at its base it’s an Alan Walker track – of course it’s a good track.

Tungevaag & Raaban feat. Victor Crone – Take Me Away

“Like someone has somehow attached a trombone mute to an angry yet melodic goose”

Tim: The two producers are Norwegian, new to here; Victor’s Swedish, and occasionally Estonian, and we’ve featured him previously, but not for yeeeears. Now, it is, as I’m sure you’re aware, terrifyingly hot in the UK right now, but let’s have a summery whistly song so it doesn’t seem so bad.

Tim: That is lovely, I think. I like this opening a lot, mostly because it comes along like so many Avicii-esque dance tracks and so promises a lot. Not quite so keen on the quiet bit following it, the synths don’t really work for me.

Tom: Yep. That synth sounds like someone has somehow attached a trombone mute to an angry yet melodic goose. It’s a shame.

Tim: The drums hit, though, and I’m in. The string parts, the whistling, yep, all for it.

Tom: Wait, really? It feels like it builds to nothing; the bit that’s meant to be a drop just turns out to be a damp squib.

Tim: The perfect part, of course, is the final part – it’s an unusual thing for a dance track to do in a closing section, just speed up like that, but I think it really works.

Tom: I… disagree strongly. It sounds like they’re on the last lap of Mario Kart. There are some lovely parts in here, but they’re just surrounded by parts that… aren’t.

Tim: Damn nice lyric video, though.

Saturday Flashback: Dario G – Cry

“All the positives, really.”

Tim: I said on Wednesday that his new one, Hola, came somewhat of the blue; a little more digging revealed that’s not quite true, actually, as he also brought this out back last September.

Tim: It is, if anything, even more textbook Dario G than Hola was, with the whispering and those operatic vocals, and you know what? I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT. Yes, it’s 99% plain and simple nostalgia, but damn it’s a good sound.

Tom: I mean, it’s not Sunchyme, and I’d argue that it’s not even quite as good as Hola. But when it gets half way through and you start hearing what’s basically the same extended long-build that was used twenty years ago? Sure, it’ll do.

Tim: It’s nice and pleasant and summery and relaxing and joyful and beachy and wonderful and, well, all the positives, really. Given all that, you may be asking if there’s an album on the way.

Tom: I wasn’t, but sure, for the purposes of this I will.

Tim: Good, because I got in touch and asked him: apparently he’s “toying with the idea”, so that’s nice. In the meantime, you’ve also got Savour The Miracle Of Life from February to enjoy as well.

Dario G – Hola

“IT’S DARIO G AND IT SOUNDS LIKE DARIO G YES I’M GOING TO START BOUNCING AT MY DESK NOW.”

Tim: Yep, Dario G – did Sunmachine, Carnaval de Paris, Dream To Me and maybe a few others way back when we were youngsters.

Tom: Not to mention a really good track on the Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds remix album. Yes, that’s a thing.

Tim: Huh, never knew. Also, now there’s this, somewhat out of the blue, because why not?

Tom: Well, I like that. I like that a lot. Why do I like that so much?

Tim: I mean, potentially because it sounds like it could be straight off an album from the then-trio twenty years ago. Some people might argue, mind, that if you’re coming back after a couple of decades you could maybe update your sound a bit.

Tom: That’s fair. This hits a lot of nostalgic parts of my brain. When I stop to think about it, I’m really not sure about basically the entire middle third of it: that chopping-and-stuttering effect doesn’t work for me. But if I don’t stop to think about it: it’s DARIO G AND IT SOUNDS LIKE DARIO G YES I’M GOING TO START BOUNCING AT MY DESK NOW.

Tim: That absolutely makes sense. After all, Busted updated their sound for the third album and it was garbage, then went back to the normal stuff for the fourth and it was excellent, so what do some people know? This is nice. It is, basically, a tune that could have been released by Dario G twenty years, and we’d all have been very happy with. Good shout, then – why mix with a winning formula?

Stockholm Noir – Glory

“Late ’90s trance synths with a gentle amount of late ’10s tropical hints here and there”

Tim: A Swedish dance act that we haven’t covered anywhere near as much as we should have done, as I think you’ll agree after hearing this.

Tom: I couldn’t tell you what decade that’s from. You’re right, though, it’s a good track.

Tim: Well there it is: we’ve late ’90s trance synths with a gentle amount of late ’10s tropical hints here and there so it doesn’t sound dated. And I for one absolutely love it. A lot of one great genre, a small amount of a fairly good genre, and a lovely vocal on top of it.

Tom: I can’t remember it after listening, but it’s the sort of thing that’d sit happily in the middle of a dance playlist. There’s nothing wrong with it, and by my standards that’s an endorsement.

Tim: I’ve no complaints at all, even at four and a half minutes long. It’s lovely.

Saturday Flashback: Hogland & Vinil feat. AVA – We Don’t Care

“Everyone, I’ve good news!”

Tim: Everyone, I’ve good news! Turns out, the rest of Hogland’s output is at a similar level to that of Letting Go, that brilliant track we featured last week! Here’s one from a couple of years back to demonstrate that.

Tim: You see? As previously, great production, great featured vocals, an absolutely fantastic post-chorus breakdown, and even a good middle eight!

Tom: The introduction and first verse remind me of OneRepublic, and I mean that as a compliment. Of course, it very quickly goes in a different direction. I’m really not sure about those steel-drum-like synths that just repeat one phrase over and over again, though.

Tim: My only question, to be honest, is: why haven’t I heard this guy before? I really don’t know, but I’m very very glad I’ve heard him now.