As a music lover, I’m all about a groove or a vibe that moves my feet, my head or my soul. Having said that, for some reason I’m biased against dance music recorded by male vocalists. It’s not that I dislike male vocalists, but much of the time I just don’t buy the male vocal on a straight-ahead dance track. That’s why some of the dance-pop music that has come out over the past two months has been so impressive to me. Here are a few tracks that are keeping my earbuds jumping:
“The Rush” – Warren Nomi
Warren Nomi’s current release for Citrusonic, “The Rush.” is a bit different from a lot of the radio-ready dance music hitting the airwaves currently, but it’s not tough to imagine “The Rush” slotting into a dance-friendly playlist. I have a good feeling about this guy: he proved in his prior incarnation as Nomi Madness that he has a great ear for a strong hook (see “Red Wine Girl“), so here’s hoping this is just the start. Nomi’s deal with Citrusonic is currently just singles, but it only takes one track to take off for an album to get the green light and this may be the song to seal the deal. You can pick up “The Rush” on iTunes and Amazon now.
“Only the Horses” – Scissor Sisters
There is always a chance when an established act goes in a more mainstream-sounding direction that the word “sellout” will be slung at them. If that’s the case, I hope the Scissor Sisters are ready, because it is going to happen to them any minute now. After a bizarre but cool hip-hop track called “Shady Love” surfaced in January, they have launched the official first single from their upcoming fourth disc Magic Hour (out 28 May in the UK, out…sometime in the rest of the world). “Only the Horses” sounds like a cross between a remix of and a sequel to Night Work‘s “Fire with Fire”, with Calvin Harris and Alex Ridha along for the ride on production. Yes, this song musically sounds like much of the current dance-pop onslaught, but at the heart of the track are well-written lyrics and a strong vocal performance from Jake Shears. If I have a complaint, it’s that Ana Matronic seems to have been lost in the shuffle of Magic Hour‘s promotion, and I’m hoping her presence will be felt once the full album drops. Give in and love this track…I already have. (Out 13 May in the UK, hopefully around that time in the US?)
“Let’s Go” – Calvin Harris featuring Ne-Yo
Speaking about Mr. Harris, he unleashes what feels like the ninth single off of his hopefully-forthcoming album in the form of “Let’s Go.” While the majority of DJ tracks feature powerful female vocalists, Harris had the right sense to bring in Ne-Yo to give the track a fresh sound, and it’s obvious from the first verse that Calvin chose well. Ne-Yo proved that he could propel a hot track back in ’08 with “Closer”, and he doesn’t stray far from that formula here. Expect this to be massive everywhere, including the US once the current single “Feels So Close” dies down a bit. (Out 22 April in the UK)