Alesso – Remedy

“Press play and move to a background tab.”

Tim: Tom, a warning for you: the video here features two kids dressed up as unconvincing aliens being rescued by Alesso’s logo; it annoyed even me, so God knows what it’ll stir up in you.

Tom: I was looking through a list of new music, and the thumbnail alone made me not click it. But, still, here we are.

Tim: Feel free to press play and move to a background tab.

Tim: Alesso is one of the DJs I always think was part of Swedish House Mafia, then I remember he came along a bit later and so is actually younger than me. I realise that, now I’m very much into my early thirties, that’s going to happen a lot, but it still kind of annoys me, you know?

Tom: “Very much into my early thirties” gives way to “mid-thirties” very quickly, Tim.

Tim: Before I get into GET OFF MY LAWN territory, though: it’s a decent track. As I write this, it’s top 5 trending on YouTube, which we can safely put down to not just the name but also the decent sound he’s got going on.

Tom: True, but the fact that the video is directed by one of those ex-Vine YouTube celebrities is going to help with that a lot.

Tim: Unusually for him, he doesn’t credit the vocalist, but to be honest the best vocal work as far as I’m concerned is actually the group “hmm-mmmm-mm-mmm-mm-mmmm” in the chorus, middle eight and then forward. Add that to the good melody and the top notch production, and you’ve really got yourself a winner here. Nice one.

Tom: I’m a bit more cynical, as ever; I think the best I can say is that it’s “not unpleasant”. But then, maybe I was still put off by the video.

Alesso feat. Nico & Vinz – I Wanna Know

“Why have we got a firefight in a standard love song?”

Tim: New one of Alesso, who’s recruited a multiple person act for vocal duties, which I’m not sure I can remember happening previously. Anyway, have a listen.

Tim: And I think the phrase du jour there is “Boy, that escalated quickly,” because I was sat calmly watching that and then BAM what on earth is going on why have we got a firefight in a standard love song?

Tom: I’d pretty much fallen asleep by then, to be honest. The fight scene at least woke me back up a bit.

Tim: Is this a metaphor for the actor and his feelings towards the other people she’s flirting with? Or is this meant to be a song that would fit as the soundtrack to this film? WHO KNOWS, but in any case it’s generally the music that matters, and here that’s a pleasant surprise.

Tom: Really? Because I waited 90 seconds for something to kick in, and then got something that sounds a bit like a GarageBand loop.

Tim: Oh, you want a GarageBand loop? Compare and contrast Umbrella with the vastly superior Symphonies. But in any case, at least it’s a good loop – Alesso more often produces dance music that’s a bit harsh and intense for my liking, but this is lovely to listen to. There is that pronunciation of “here”, though, which I think is the weirdest I’ve ever heard, but that aside, it’s all great.

Alesso feat. Tove Lo – Heroes

“Well, that’s a near-perfect dance track.”

Tim: New track here off Swedish dance producer Alesso; play it please.

Tom: Well, that’s a near-perfect dance track.

Tim: It is, though I’ve one caveat: I’m sure it’s entirely coincidental, but that backing line is very, very similar to Music to Make The Boys Cry.

Tom: And “we could be heroes” is sort of David Bowie’s shtick.

Tim: And while that’s a great track, this similarity is a tad annoying, because I don’t really want to think about crying when I’m dancing. On the other hand, it really wouldn’t stop me dancing much, and everything else about this track is great, so actually I’m not all that bothered.

Tom: Maybe it’s just my headphones or the YouTube compression, but I could use a bit more bass: there’s a whole load of low frequencies that seem to be mostly ignored. But when the rest of it sounds this good, I can’t complain.


Alesso feat. Michael Koma – Years

Piano dance has been huge this year, but it’s rarely been done this well.

Tim: I woke up to this last Thursday, and I thought it was great so I scribbled it down to listen to later. Then I remembered that I did the same thing with the latest JLS song, and realised I might be letting myself in for a fall. And then I listened to it and found there was nothing to worry about whatsoever. (But feel free to skip the first 30 seconds, and everything after 3:30.)

Tim: Piano dance has been huge this year – occasionally overly so – but it’s rarely been done this well. So often it’s seemed like producers thought, “Hey, that’s a decent synth line, let’s put a piano on it because everyone else is doing that,” but here it seems different – more like the piano has set the way and then everything else has been built around it. It’s a lovely melody that we hear on its own to start with, and then the pounding stuff happens, but then when the vocal comes in you realise “oh, so that’s what they were doing”, and I like that a lot.

Tom: It’s not entirely led by the piano either, which helps.

Tim: True – they’re not afraid to drop that a bit and let the synths carry the weight. But since I think I’m in danger of romanticising this a bit too much and becoming overly eloquent, I’ll move to say that the heavy pounding stuff on it is RIGHT GOOD and BANGING and AMAZING.

Tom: Can’t disagree with that.

Tim: The nerdy part of me also appreciates that it’s set at 128bpm, because it means if part of it ever does get boring we can relax in the knowledge that at every thirty second mark precisely something different will come along.*

*On a tangent, if you ever want to spoil your enjoyment of a fantastic dance track, I recommend counting the beats in Rank 1’s Airwave. Like clockwork, every 32 beats it shifts slightly, or something interesting happens, and every 64 it switches direction. The most literally formulaic track ever.)

Tom: Ha! You’re right – that’s exactly on the 30 second mark, each time. It’s as if they were writing music for schools TV.