BEST NEW SONG: ANDRELLI - SPARKLES
Swedish producer Andrelli steps out of other people's shadows and into the limelight on "Sparkles."
Andrelli is not exactly a new face on the music scene. He's already seen support from legendary DJs like Armin Van Buuren with the trance duo Andrelli & Blue. He's had millions upon millions of Spotify plays via his pop songwriting and remixing duties. His 2016 remix of Hearts & Colors "Lighthouse" has been streamed over 69 million times! Andrelli is not yet a household name, despite working with some of Pop's biggest names, notably Rihanna and Lady Gaga. With each passing year, Andrelli gets more momentum, building up pressure like a Coke bottle full of Mentos.
Things started to fizz over in earnest last year when Andrelli finally dropped his debut single "Old Man," a levitating, white sand mixture of Future Bass, progressive house, and island bounce. He's back at it with his first single of 2018, "Sparkles," trading in the club fodder for a more pop-oriented fare.
ANDRELLI - SPARKLES
The futuristic sound design and special FX are exchanged in favor of synthpop vocals and Pop melodicism. Andrelli sounds as if he's been studying Kaytranada's 99.9%, as the 4/4 house bounce is replaced with radioactive neon sub-bass and intricate experimental electronics dancing around the edges. It's like a club Pop banger as viewed through heat stroke and dehydration, as a white sand beach hangover.
Those experimental earworms are part of what makes Andrelli stand out, both as a producer and as a songwriter. You'll hear something new every time you visit "Sparkles," like discovering ecosystems of shining, asymmetrical acid arpeggios in the bushes and tide pools full of incongruous rhythms. It never gets old, that's for sure. In these disposable times, it's exciting to hear a pop/dance music hybrid that not only withstands the test of time but gets better with age. Could this be signaling an end to manufactured obsolescence, at least in pop music? We Are: The Guard certainly hope so!
Andrelli is firmly in-line of Swedish Pop artisans like Abba or Max Martin. He's not quite as abstract and removed as many of his Swedish counterparts. Instead, this is a progression of the ScandiPop sound, a step forward while still adhering to the basic tenets of catchy melodies and undeniable songwriting. "Sparkles" truly hints at a pure Pop/EDM/electronica crossover. Let the Popheads rave, We Are: The Guard say! And let the ravers stop for a moment, get a drink of water, and just chill with some excellent tunes.
J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.