Published: December 24, 2013
By: Jordan Calvano
5. Smallpools - Dreaming (The Chainsmokers Remix)
The Chainsmokers are basically house music’s RAC. The New York-based duo possess an uncontrollable urge to inject their own unique take on indie gems, and they are damn good at it too. “Dreaming” takes on Smallpools’ breakout anthem and adds that classic Chainsmokers charisma to the mix. It’s like Paul Rudd trying to teach Jason Segal how to surf in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Don’t do too much, but also don’t do too little. Stray too far from the original and you will destroy its integrity and core balance. Don’t add enough and listeners with criticize you of plagiary. Fortunately for The Chainsmokers, that middle ground between the two is where they call home. Sean Scanlon’s unforgettable vocals and youthful lyrics still shine brightly throughout this mix, just with a bit more flare and vitality. It’s indie house laden with a slight pinch of disco. That’s The Chainsmoker’s touch.
4. Adrian Lux & Marcus Schossow - Wild Child ft JJ
Another master of indie house is Adrian Lux. This year, we witnessed the Swedish producer unveiling goosebump-inducing singles sure to end up on his upcoming album (due out in April). “Wild Child” kicks open with enlightening guitar strings reminiscent of Empire Of The Sun’s “We Are The People,” roping listeners in before adding JJ’s powerful vocals to the mix. This combined with luscious production from Lux and fellow Swede Marcus Schossow helps create a jubilant, free-flowing track full of life and pure radiance. Like “Teenage Crime” and “Damaged,” we receive a strong dosage of youthfulness present in the lyrics sure to take listeners of any age on a nostalgic journey.
3. Lucas Nord - Embrace Me Pt II ft Urban Cone
Most of you probably haven’t heard of Lucas Nord just yet, but that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Although the young Swedish producer has already released his debut LP and collaborated with big names like John Dahlbäck, Tove Lo, and Urban Cone, he hasn’t received the proper attention for his blissful sound just yet. “Embrace Me Part II” is one of three vocal appearances from Rasmus Flyckt (Urban Cone) on Islands, standing out with glowing synth leads that have defined Nord’s still progressing sound. The words Swedish and house seem to catch anyone’s attention these days, even if the producer isn’t going out of his way to pursue originality, but Lucas Nord does not fall into this category. The 21 year old has stumbled onto something idiosyncratic, and the blowback from his album will arrive soon enough.
2. Project 46 - Motionless ft Seri
Project 46 is the only artist on this list that also made last year’s compilation. We weren’t 100% sold on their entire catalogue at the time, but felt “Feel The Fire” deserved some attention. This year though, the Canadian duo had us hook, line, and sinker. “Motionless” is a testament to their evolving sound, creating a sterling amalgam of bewitching instrumentations and Seri’s poignant vocals. Lyrically sound, and we become fully engrossed in the heartwarming tale of romance. Not just snippets, but an all-inclusive pass into the individual stages of falling in love. Project 46 doesn’t just float at the surface, they dive 100% into each track. Their debut album is due out in 2014, so keep your eyes peeled for new singles in the upcoming months.
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