Image: Hollie Fernando
On Energy, Brothers Guy & Howard Lawrence bring their impeccable production to a body of work full of sustained tension. The record takes influence from hip-hop and R&B paired with Disclosures signature house music beats. The release is adventurous sonically, while also staying close to the sounds Disclosure are known for. The record lives up the albums name; full of energy, the duo have created their most direct album, perfectly exhibiting their strengths and versatility as producers and songwriters.
Opening with Watch Your Step, the 80’s disco inspired track features R&B singer Kelis who shines on the song as she sings of cutting loose on the dance floor. The dance album comes at a time where the clubs are empty, bur perhaps the record can transform homes into a dance floor scene. Tracks like Lavender and the tribal inspired Energy bring synth heavy 4/4 beats with American vocalist Channel Tres, commanding the dance floor with his spoken word performance on Lavender. The glitchy sounds on Who Knew and Birthday are high energy but present themselves as more pared back. Mick Jenkins features on Who Knew, bringing his effortless speedy raps and smooth vocals to the UK Garage inspired track. Birthday calls back to early 2000’s R&B melodies mixed with modern beats and a sultry performance from Kehlani.
UK Garage sounds are further explored on My High, a style utilised by the duo on their 2013 record, Settle. Thick syncopation and subtle offbeats are complimentary to Aminé and slowthai’s head to head battle on the track. The hip-house track is a standout on the record, inciting an energetic, pulse raising frenzy. Douha (Mali Mail) pays tribute to featured vocalist Fatoumata Diawara’s home country on the euphoric track. The hypnotic 90’s French house track features a warm and uplifting vocal performance from Diawara. The record takes a slower turn with Ce n’est pas. The track incorporates a killer bass line with rapid percussion, and singer Blik Bassey's soft and dreamy French vocals. The interludes Fractal and Thinking ‘Bout You offer moments of contemplation with Thinking ‘Bout You creating swelling moments of rich sweetness. The albums closer, Reverie, features hip-hip superstar Common, who provides uplifting verses that tackle self-improvement. The short but sweet track is reminiscent of earlier hip-hop/house music fusion tracks.
With stellar collaborations and joyous beats, the duo explore more drum and bass sounds, something they’ve only touched on prior to Energy. The album is a collection of songs that not only highlights the duo’s musicianship, but gives their collaborators their own moment to shine and imprint their personality on the track. One of their most ambitious body of work to date, the album delivers energetic dance floor tracks that will keep the nightclub spirit alive until we can meet again on the dance floor.
Energy is out now!