The Attic – Radiate

“I’m not sure I like the actual song, but I do very much like that synth line.“

Tim: You know those times when silly internet jokes piles over into real life, and things go wrong, or just weird?

Tom: I try desperately not to.

Tim: Oh, yeah, guess you’ve got history. But I’m talking smaller, like the time I met a new work colleague called Ron and I could barely keep a straight face because of Ron, or this dance music duo who’ve recently got back together, who I can’t take seriously because of the (sadly now deleted) second best tweet of all time.

(The greatest tweet of all time has, fortunately, not been deleted.)

Tim: BOOM and it’s there right from the off, with ENERGY and STUFF and it calms down soon but it doesn’t matter because you’re already in the zone.

Tom: Ha. You say that: the first thing I wrote was “that starts well, doesn’t it? Pity about the first verse”. But, yes, you’re right, there’s a lot of promise.

Tim: Right? And you know it won’t be long before everything gets going again, and sure enough it does come along soon enough, with all those lovely synth noise and drum beats.

Tom: I’m not sure I like the actual song, but I do very much like that synth line.

Tim: Sounds tinkly, sounds upbeat, with radiating and sunny and neverending JOY and PASSION and all that’s just great really. Isn’t it?

Tom: It is! I wish the main vocal melody line had SIMILAR ENTHUSIASM, but I guess I shouldn’t complain.

Tim: Good.

Galantis feat. OneRepublic – Bones

“It’s good! Like, really really good!”

Tim: It’s almost sad when a new release from your previous favourite brings a sense of trepidation rather than excitement; this got released last Friday.

Tom: I remember when you used to send every Galantis track with enthusiasm. Don’t get me wrong, I think Satisfied is a great track — it grew on me despite those initial reservations — but yeah, they’ve been suffering from regression to the mean recently.

Tim: It’s good! Like, really really good!

Tom: That’s because that millennial-whoop chorus is straight from Owl City’s Good Time!

Tim: Oh, yes, so it is. That maybe plays a part in it, then.

Tom: As ever, I don’t think it’s deliberate, but it’s all I can think about while I’m listening.

Tim: I’m guessing it’s just Ryan from OneRepublic and the rest is all Galantis, and those drumbeats and massive brass melody all work together so well, along with all the twiddling samples in the backing.

Tom: It goes on for one chorus too long, but, sure, it’ll… it’ll do, I guess.

Tim: I don’t know if it’s just relief, but I’m fairly sure this is their best work since Love On Me, and I’m so happy about that, I really am.

Ludvigsson & Jorm – Different Tomorrow

“No-one should have to debug their light bulb.”

Tim: I’m writing this late at night, after spending far too many hours trying and failing to sort an entirely irritating technical issue with various smart things in my home.

Tom: If you combine a computer and a light bulb, you get a computer. No-one should have to debug their light bulb.

Sorry, you were probably hoping for sympathy there.

Tim: Not really. I am tired, I have no energy, and I want to go to bed. Except, I’ve just pressed play on this, and now I’ve got a fair old grin on my face.

Tom: The same thing happened to me, and for the life of me I couldn’t tell you why. I shouldn’t like this, but that build into the first chorus just made me smile. And as for “it will be different tomorrow”, well, yes, that’s an often-true message

Tim: And it’s not just the lyrics there that are so upbeat: there just seems to be so much infectious joy contained within that song, and even the artwork manages to pull off a sense of optimism. It culminates in the third minute: that last build, starting at about two minutes? It’s lovely – and what comes after it sounds just right. Nothing new or exciting compared to what we’ve already heard, but exactly what it should be.

Tom: Yep. And I can’t explain it. This is the opposite of those tracks where I say “it’s competently produced but I don’t like it”. This has nothing spectacular about it, but it’s just really well composed.

Tim: There’s no middle eight, but I’m not complaining this time: it’s a short track, and it does everything it wants and needs to do. For what it is, a dance tune with lyrics promising a good future, it’s perfect.

Tom: I could hum the chorus after one listen, and I wanted to hear it again. Full marks from me, for once.

Junior J feat. John Gibbons & Therese – Save A Little Love

“That’s meant as a compliment.”

Tim: As I write this, Finland have just announced that Darude willl be representing them at Eurovision, so shall we have a bit of dance music?

Tom: The more I hear about the Eurovision music this year, the more I like it. Anyway: this is not Eurovision, I guess? But I’m definitely up for some dance music.

Tom: Well, if that’s Therese on main vocals, then all I can say is she’d be an excellent Kylie impersonator. That’s meant as a compliment: that’s a good vocal quality to have.

Tim: Junior is Irish, John is Irish, Therese is Swedish, and as I see it, between them they’ve put together a better Galantis track than Galantis have managed in a good couple of years.

Tom: You’re not wrong: it’s very two-summers-ago, but again, that’s meant as a compliment.

Tim: It’s upbeat, it’s cheerful, it’s energetic, and it makes me feel good. And that’s what a dance tune should do. This works, very nicely.

Galantis feat. Sophia Carson – San Francisco

“It’s good! I like it! That’s unusual! “

Tim: This slipped me by when it came out last month because it was the Friday before Christmas, but here it is – Galantis’s latest, featuring the same singer who was on Alan Walker’s latest track as well. Coincidence? Very probably.

Tom: That’s the best introduction and first verse I’ve heard in a while. Full marks for having the confidence to use just a vocoded acapella: with a bad melody that would have completely killed the track. But it’s good! I like it! That’s unusual!

Tim: So, Galantis haven’t had a proper hit since Love On Me, the brilliant track that came out…a little over two years ago. I would argue that’s a shame, but then I think back and much as I typically very much enjoy their output – it’s not exactly memorable, is it? I think this kind of demonstrates why.

Tom: That’s harsh but not entirely untrue. I really did enjoy this track, almost as much as I still enjoy Satisfied. But I think it’s fair to say that given both tracks are about two and a half minutes, Galantis knows exactly how long people will want to listen to their tracks for. That repetition of “San Francisco” got old on a second listen. But hey, at least I gave it a second listen.

Tim: It’s okay, it’s standard as Galantis fare seems to go nowadays…but it’s not anything really special. I miss that, really, I do.

Saturday Flashback: U96 – Heaven

“WHAT A BANGER. ABSOLUTE TUNE.”

Tim: Dance cover of a classic song; despite the title, I can guarantee you it won’t be anything like what you expect.

Tom: You are right, I did not expect that. I should have done, given we’ve talked about U96 before. That is prototypical 90s Eurodance right there.

Tim: I’d ask why anybody would think to do this, but to be honest I just don’t care, because basically WHAT A BANGER. ABSOLUTE TUNE. You’ve got fifteen seconds of ‘this sounds familiar, where’s it from?’, before your first ‘OH LET’S GO’, then thirty seconds later you’ve stopped going crazy and can think a bit and you’re ‘huh, it’s…it’s…it’s…OH, it’s that, this is odd’ but before you can finish that thought it GOES OFF again, and after that it calms down briefly and you wonder why they’ve completely ripped it off but then RAVE ON MOTHERFLIPPERS and it JUST DOESN’T STOP so right now WHO THE HELL CARES.

Tom: Which, let’s be honest, is the standard I hold most 90s Eurodance to: is it a BANGER? This just about qualifies.

Tim: The next morning, on the mother of all come downs, you look it up on your phone, because obviously you’ve Shazzamed it, and you discover that Cyndi Lauper’s got a writing credit on it so everything’s beautiful. Like in heaven, really.

MÖWE feat. Emy Perez – Down By The River

“Advance warning, if you need it: the first thing you’ll hear is jaunty whistling.”

Tim: Happy new year Tom! Officially, it’s still Christmas until Sunday; unofficially, anyone still listening to Christmas music is clearly in some sort of denial, so let’s move on. In fact, let’s move all the way to Austria for SUMMER. (Advance warning, if you need it: the first thing you’ll hear is jaunty whistling.)

Tim: Now, as I write this, I am in a sickeningly good mood (after a enormous amount of effort, finally got my New Year’s Eve costume sorted), so I don’t know if that’s affecting my view, but I really really like this track.

Tom: So usually at this point, I’ll say something like “it’s a good two-minute track, it’s just a pity that it’s four minutes long”. But this actually is about two minutes long, which is good, because damn if it wasn’t starting to drag by the end.

I think that your mood is affecting your review, though. It’s not offensive, but what stands out for you?

Tim: The chanting reminds me pleasantly of Alan Walker’s Darkside (sidebar: that guy puts on a flipping brilliant gig, albeit with slightly weird staging setup, and also his album’s pretty good as well), the verses never get annoyingly quiet, the “let the river flow” line sounds great, as does the repetitive bit at the end, and I even find the whistling enjoyable, as it has a lovely melody.

Tom: Yeah, I’m chalking this one up to your mood.

Tim: Top marks, I’m reckoning.

DAVID44 – Truth

“Nope. Sorry.”

Tim: Another capitalised Scandinavian, and this time we’ve got some numbers thrown in as well for good measure. This is a song I’ve been back and forth about featuring for a week or so now, largely because I’m fairly sure you probably won’t like it. Here it is anyway, though.

Tom: You’re right! Well, not quite. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s that I find it difficult to have any strong opinion about chilled house like this.

Tim: Right, because it does slot in nicely to the chilled house genre that we’ve debated before, and while I’m not expecting to make you a convert any time soon, I do still want to share it. I’m prepared for a “don’t be ridiculous” here, but it’s not so far removed from the recent Calvin Harris/Sam Smith track Promises – vulnerable male vocal over an understated backing – and for me it works. Any chance for you?

Tom: Nope. Sorry. It’s… well, it’s music.

Penthox – Call Upon

“There’s always something that doesn’t seem right, isn’t there?”

Tim: He’s from Sweden, he’s young-ish (Soundcloud bio says 18, but the account’s been there since 2013, so who knows), and he makes stuff like this, his latest.

Tim: And I like that.

Tom: Huh. I wasn’t expecting to for some reason — it’s probably just my standard unimpressed-by-default — but I perked up at just the intro and verse.

Tim: Admittedly, I don’t really have much to say beyond that, but as a dance track, it pushes all the right buttons. Sometimes – hell, frequently — that’s all I need. A track I like, and can ‘wooooo’ along to when the time comes for it.

Tom: The trouble is, Tim: I don’t like those ‘wooooo’s. The rest isn’t bad at all, particularly that pre-chorus, but… agh, there’s always something that doesn’t seem right, isn’t there?

Tim: Sadly, it seems so.

Sigala feat. Kylie Minogue – What You Waiting For

“You’ve got Kylie, you want to give her the best track you will ever make in your life.”

Tim: Sigala’s debut album was also released last Friday; given the number of singles he’s already released, it contained a grand total of four new tracks. This was one of them.

Tom: And the Kylie collaboration’s an album track? Blimey. Talk about setting expectations high.

Tim: It’s fair to say Sigala’s established himself as one of the top names in summery tropical dance music, and with his first name being Bruce it was only a matter of time until he landed a prolific Australian.

Tom: I didn’t quite facepalm at that line, Tim, but I did scrunch up one side of my face and lower my eyebrows in a kind of a “huh?” gesture.

Tim: You what?

Tom: I didn’t need to write that sentence out, but I’m hoping that anyone reading it would try and imitate that face. Anyway, yeah, this is… well, actually it’s really generic, isn’t it?

Tim: It does, though, seem a bit of a waste. You’ve got Kylie, you want to give her the best track you will ever make in your life – not this, which as Sigala tracks go is entirely average. It’s not bad by any means – but it certainly doesn’t deserve Kylie.

Tom: Album track.