Dance music. In America people scoff at the genre that has become dominated by Davide Ghuetta’s mindless club clones and Skrillix’s aggressive dubstep arpeggios. Across the pond in the UK, disclosure is fighting to keep the spirit of the genre alive. Their full length album Settle is stellar, and is sure to be remembered as one of the greater releases of 2013. On it, brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence perfected the formula that they introduced with the single “White Noise”. Their sound, somewhat controversially, draws on late 90’s/early 2000’s garage and 2-step music. Songs start with basic drums machines before introducing a tinkering synth lines as well as soulful hooks. The recipe has already yielded success. Singles such as “Latch” and “White Noise” are hits in the UK, with Settle debuting number 1 in their Itunes store.
The duo has a distinctive pop sensibility, enlisting internet favorites AlunaGeorge and jazzy X factor contestant Eliza Doolitle to provide the vocal hooks that really makes the album stick. The melodies lodge themselves in your brain for hours, and are repetitive enough to inspire rump-shaking but rich enough to stand up after repeated listens. The best moments on the album come when Disclosure’s songs build until the track is lost in woozy reverb, before snapping the user back little more than the original synth line. The results are hard to ignore. “When a Fire Starts to Burn” had me out of my seat dancing even though I was trying to write this review. Tinkling melodies like “White Noise” are just a commercial away from being a huge hit in the US as well. The album also has a voguish sheen and downtown minimalism to get even the hippest cats bobbing their heads as well. Spin their album at your next pre-game round of martinis to get the night off to a classy and propulsive start.