There are many skills to be accrued when it comes to making great clubland music, one of them is what I like to call the “slowburn,” and Song and Dances, a teaser track from YayRaven ahead of a full album to follow, is the perfect example of how it’s done. Slowburn is the art of creating music that rises up out of nothing and then proceeds to slowly wrap itself in various tones and textures, gently increasing in sonic weight and intensity, before unleashing its true self in an explosion of musicality and drama.
Not only does Song and Dances do this perfectly, but it also does it twice! It steps up through almost balladic pop vibes and brooding synth washes into edgy minimalist beat-and-vocal dance vibes before revealing its true self and heading off down a pathway of futuristic house sounds and warped and glitchy dancefloor bliss. And then it breaks down, decomposes itself and takes another run through the same sonic steps from artful understatement to euphoric groove.
Dance music is not known for being clever, and that is no criticism, that isn’t in its job description. Vibrant, infectious, addictive, energetic, hypnotic – yes, all of those, but clever has never been part of the remit. Until now. Song and Dances is clever. It teases and entices, draws the listener in, reveals its sonic charms slowly and deliberately.
Music of this kind often just goes for the sucker-punch, hitting its stride immediately and giving away the goods far too soon, which is fine, it gets the job done. Song and Dances also gets the job done, musically speaking, but the way that it goes about it, its ability to draw the listener in, evolve and grow and finally deliver, is what makes the song so clever, proving that the artist behind it is so much smarter than your average clubland creative.