No Surprises Here
American DJ duo, The Chainsmokers, have yet again made their name following the 2014 hit “#Selfie” with summer radio hit “Closer”, featuring singer and songwriter Halsey. “#Selfie,” which was a timely and culturally appropriate number, became a social phenomenon, accurately depicting the painstaking struggles to capture a perfect selfie. Ever since, the DJ duo has dropped hit after hit, adapting and incorporating current trends into their musical style. Collage, their most recent effort, is a mash-up between Kygo’s tropical percussion beats with Calvin harris’s stronger EDM beat. It’s a 5 track EP, featuring trending names in pop music and previously released singles.
The EP kicks off with “Setting Fires” which features XYLO in an exotic Arabic-style melody with snapping percussion beats. It’s definitely a commercial track, bound to hit the radio stations soon. Phoebe Ryan stars in “All We Know,” her soft and mellow vocals complementing Taggart’s very well. Despite the light start, it builds steadily into a catchy drop using electronic synths. Its contrast to hit single, “Closer,” bringing variety to the EP.
That electronic-pop number, on repeat all summer long, follows. Although the hit song may have gotten its fair share of radio play, it still has the potential to become a 12 consecutive week Billboard Hot 100 number one single in the United States. Halsey’s recent buzz in the music industry as an upcoming name is due to her cute but grungy music style. With retro vibes, the track embraces a lighthearted sound with a xylophone-sounding drop and very memorable lyrics. The underlying reason it’s a hit is not only the memory-sticking melody, but also its story telling lyrics. The song is about two ex-lovers who encounter each other at a house party and decided to rekindle the fire, only leaving them both to realize why their flame went out in the first place. The lyrics give listeners a chance to relate as it depicts very detailed and probable scenes when one is in a relationship, and the lyrics are definitely an easy sing-a-long.
“Inside Out” features Charlee in a mellow, light number. However, her voice and vocal style come off a bit too strong and direct to match the musical accompaniment. For others, this may not be the case, but this track could have used a bit more arrangement to spice it up. Finishing the EP is Daya in “Don’t Let Me Down” which was released in early February of this year. Along with “Roses” released in 2015, this track has been the one to define the DJ pair. The song kicks off with echoey guitar sounds, with Daya singing pleading lyrics, “I need you right now / I think I’m losing my mind.” As the chorus approaches, the track drops into a full-on trap beat, adding a dramatic surprise for listeners. This arrangement led to the track to be very well received, making its way to the top five singles on the US Billboard Hot 100.
2016 has been a productive year for The Chainsmokers, who have received an extremely positive response to each released single. The pair’s key to success is their flexibility in adjusting their musical style to produce sounds favorable to the ear. With an ever-changing style, The Chainsmokers will definitely continue to drop hits hyping up radio-filled car rides to club dance floors.