Headphones: New Collaborations Ignite the Industry
Wrap up your supper to renowned DJ Avicii's fun, new six-track album, as a series of three releases. Another awesome EDM track released this week features a soulful performance by rising 19-year-old star, Khalid. A$AP Mob fed us a snack of the music video to their new single, "Feels So Good." Soundcloud is saved, and more updates!
Album of the Week: AVICII O1 – Avicii: Dance music sensation Tim Bergling (more commonly referred to as Avicii), has returned to the scene after retiring from touring, with a new, enticing six-song EP titled “AVICI (01).” The 17-minute album is rumored to be the first part of a series of releases making up his third record.
His latest EP is pop-synth heavy, upbeat and definitely more experimental, including several unique collaborators. The album begins on a strong note with the benevolent “Friend of Mine,” that’ll buoyantly flow through you. Rhythmic snaps and genuine vocals by Vargas & Lagola set the scene for this pop-EDM jam.
Another pop-EDM track cohesively follows this theme, with Rita Ora’s catchy vocal in “Lonely Together.” The simplicity in lyric, as well as in the elements fused together under Ora, are the perfect balance to create the pleasant sound that pervades in the popular track.
Avicii shows growth and variation, heavily involving acoustic instruments in nearly every track. The Swedish producer commonly and sonically blends guitar chords and loops with bright beats. One example of this unfolds in AlunaGeorge’s feature on “What Would I Change It To.” Similarly, melodious acoustic finger picking welcomes you warmly into one of the more rhythmic tracks “You Be Love,” touched by Billy Raffoul’s sultry, lovely edged voice. Infrequent, and relatively calm drops complete the vibe as one of the sweeter, more romantic songs on the album.
“Without You,” gets even more touching thanks to Sandro Cavazza’s sticky pop-vocal. The lyrics and presentation flow from romantic, to a completely invigorating and uplifting chorus. The most soulful feature occurs on the empowering closing to the six-track album, titled “So Much Better.” Sandro Cavazza again sings his heart out and flows between Avicii’s impressive mix to end the album – proving the artist’s unwavering relevance since the beginning of his career in 2009.
Single of the Week: Silence – Marshmello featuring Khalid: The re-emerging, Marshmello-masked crowd-pleaser created the most optimal EDM synth-infused track to shadow Khalid’s gifted voice. The promising 19-year-old emotionally admits through a shimmering ballad, “I'm so used to sharing/Love only left me alone/But I'm at one with the silence.” There’s no telling where this young talent can go; he just released his first LP, American Teen, on March 3 of this year.
Running on a similar time frame, Marshmello released his first debut album, Joytime, in 2016. Marshmello comfortably coasted to fame, and was recently listed in Forbes Magazine as one of 2017's highest-paid DJs. The artist was listed earning $21 million in the 12 months preceding June. The two rising hopefuls couldn’t have made a better move by collaborating and producing a song with a catchy beat, likable melody and Khalid’s tender and soulful vocal.
Hip-Hop: Feels So Good – A$AP Mob: A$AP Rocky, A$AP Nast, A$AP Ant, A$AP Ferg and A$AP Twelvyy deliver fire, relaxed and confident verses while running around a photo shoot set. The mob wilds out in front of a strategically, ill-filmed/quality-pictured video camera. The Harlem-based rappers' pre-released “Feels So Good” is a nice preview to their upcoming album release on August 25, titled "Cozy Tapes Vol. 2: Too Cozy." The mob demands your attention with their classic, hard-hitting raps over an easy instrumental, trappy beat.
Update: Soundcloud is saved by a $170 million-dollar investment by The Raine Group (a merchant bank), along with investment company Temasek, located in Singapore. With a brand new executive team in order, including Kerry Trainor and Alex Ljung, the widely used digital music platform will now remain independent.
Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber’s “Despacito,” breaks another record, spending it’s 14th week as the No.1 single on the Digital Song Sales chart.
Watch Khalid’s graceful cover of SZA’s “Love Galore.”