As pop lineups go, it doesn’t get much better than this.
- Calvin Harris, purveyor of ginormous dance pop, and the man who pretty much single-handedly brought back the ‘synth riff as best bit of the tune’ with ‘I’m Not Alone’
- Pharrell Williams, purveyor of mega funkelectropop, first as one half of the Neptunes and then as a solo artist
- Ariana Grande, purveyor of hi-NRG pop with a serious set of pipes on her, and responsible for last year’s third best song ‘Into You’
- Young Thug, purveyor of off-kilter rap and trap and friend of hotly-tipped up-and-coming artist Kanye West
So, understandably, my hopes were high when Calvin announced earlier this week that they’d made a tune together, which would be released on the coming Friday:
And now – rejoice – for said track is finally with us. Here it is:
And it is… probably not the sound of the summer. But it’s good isn’t it? Really good. Really summery – very ‘Heatstroke’. It follows neatly on the heels of Calvin’s previous release, the equally laid back and summery ‘Slide’ which featured Migos and a half-asleep Frank Ocean, and seems to mark a distinct shift for Calvin away from the big beats and massive IN YOUR FACE trance sounds of yore to a less synthesized and more ‘real instruments’ domain.
If you hadn’t noticed, on the digital ‘credits sleeve’ (this is a thing now) which Calvin posted on Twitter, he is very keen to point out that he plays lots of real instruments. Very keen.
Something which he was also keen to stress when he released that ‘Slide’ video which gave you an insight into all the parts on that record:
Does this mean that the era of EDM, DJs with giant foam heads, dance music for people who don’t actually dance, inflated drinks prices and people Instagramming just what an amazing time they’re having, rather than just having an actual amazing time is finally drawing to a close?
It definitely seems that’s how Calvin views it, and this is almost like a return to the style – groove-based and less processed – of the early stages of his career.
However, in summary (or should that be summery?), we definitely do like ‘Heatstroke’, but it’s not exactly ‘Blurred Lines’ or ‘Get Lucky’, so the 2017 song of the summer throne remains vacant for now.
Your move, music world...