Matoma & The Vamps – Staying Up

“It’s just not something you’d expect to hear in mid-to-late 2017.”

Tim: Three boybands came out with tracks this week: one a new group from the ludicrously complicated American TV show Boy Band (and the song’s awful); one called Why Don’t We who have been going a year now and are yet to produce anything that isn’t awful; and The Vamps.

Tom: An understated third part to that list, there.

Tim: True, but most of the stated-ness was due to the others being awful, which isn’t something I can say about The Vamps, particularly with Matoma on board.

Tom: Interesting who got first billing there, isn’t it?

Tim: And hearing that makes me realise that, pleasantly, tropical dance has largely been absent this year, which means we can actually enjoy it in the small doses that it presents itself in, such as this.

Tom: It actually sounds a bit dated now, doesn’t it? I’m not sure that it’s a bad sound, it’s just not something you’d expect to hear in mid-to-late 2017.

Tim: In terms of what it does, it’s not dissimilar to last year’s All Night – takes your regular boyband sound, and merges that nicely with something different, turning more into something sounding like a banging remix.

Tom: It’s not quite a BANGER: there’s too much pre-chorus and not enough actual full-on chorus. It’s got the same problem as Galantis earlier this week: there’s basically no bass, which is fine for tropical house but not really great to dance too. But yes, it is at least different.

Tim: That is, in fact, probably what saves it right now from being a generic boyband track destined for the shame and ignominy that hopefully await those two I mentioned earlier, which could easily be generic solo album tracks with a few extra vocals. All in all, this really works for me, as a sound and as a track.

Matoma & Gia – Heart Won’t Forget

“A slightly summery track?”

Tim: As we muddle our way through the depths of midwinter, shall we have a slightly summery track to raise our spirits?

Tom: Okay, first up: the chorus – and the whistling bit – is mostly the middle eight from Wrecking Ball. “Don’t you ever say I just walked away,” etc etc. Probably a coincidence, still unfortunate, because it’s all I can hear.

Tim: Oh, YES it is, and that may explain why I liked it so much. Admittedly the message of it doesn’t make it a massively spirit-raising song, with the whole “we were pretty great but then it kind of went to shit” vibe throughout; on the other hand, that’s a cracking riff they’ve got going on in the chorus, wherever it came from, and the whistling makes it seem very chirpy indeed.

Tom: It does. It’s just a shame it sounds like another, better riff.

Tim: Well I’ll take it whatever, as a retrospective of good times in the year. It’s nice.

Matoma feat. Becky Hill – False Alarm

“We still have tropical house to keep us sane.”

Tim: Second half of 2016, and despite all that might be going bonkers politically, we still have tropical house to keep us sane.

Tom: I’m not entirely sure that’s valid, but sure, let’s go with it.

Tim: Matoma’s Norwegian, Becky’s from London, and that’s about all you need to know. So grab yourself a 🍍, and use it to whack the play button.

Tim: And that is…perfectly plausible for a middle of the set, the middle of the compilation disc.

Tom: See, I was about to agree with you there, but I can’t actually find anything wrong with it to say why it seems “plausible, middle of the set” rather than anything better. Maybe the verse is a bit slow, maybe it seems a bit long? Either way, every individual part seems good.

Tim: It’s pretty good throughout, but of particular note is her vocal which is just great, and especially notable as such when it’s just on its own like at the start or after the first instrumental chorus. And as for that instrumental chorus: also very good. All in all, I’m very happy with this. Nice one.