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February: A Month of Clubs, Raves, and Parties

Updated: Mar 9

With the new year coming to a start, it’s no surprise that great music is sure to follow. 2024 is packed with potential as an array of artists plan to release projects of a variety of different genres later within this year. One genre that has already seen so much love and is dominating the month of February is none other than club. Club is such a fun genre that has been adopted by some of my favorite acts as of lately, and I want to take this time to talk about a few of my favorite projects released by some talented artist i urge you to check out.


CLUBSHY - SHYGIRL (EP)


Transitioning from the grimy hip-hop based rap of her fan favorite extended play ‘ALIAS’ into the genre-bending pop and R&B of her debut album ‘Nymph’, Shygirl has established herself as a versatile artist unafraid to evolve and experiment between projects. In her most recent release, ‘Club Shy’, Shygirl makes both a return to form and an unexpected turn, combining the likes of her iconic ‘ALIAS’ club sound with a 2000’s Eurodance-focused twist.


‘Club Shy’ is Shygirl’s 3rd extended play sitting at a humble 6 tracks and released on February 9th. The play was supported by 3 singles, the first being ‘thicc’ featuring Cosha. ‘thicc’ is an EDM-infused dance song with a hypnotic rhythm alongside Shygirl and Cosha’s layered vocals, it was released with a music video featuring both artists. ‘f@k€’ followed shortly after which introduced a dance sound more consistent with the record, a back and forth rocking of electronic rhythms that accompany the rise and fall of synth beats. Shygirl finished the rollout of ‘Club Shy’ with ‘tell me’, another dance indulgent piece that features synth melodies and instrumental breaks. ‘tell me (K edit)’ was released with the single as a B-side remix which featured new vocals from the Russian singer Katerina. A standout track that was not promoted as a single but I think would have performed well is ‘mr useless’

with SG Lewis. ‘mr useless’ has fun electronic melody lines and takes more inspiration from house than other tracks on ‘Club Shy’, I think it serves as the heart to record.


When it comes to dance and club records, the production behind the music is just as important as the singer at the forefront of the songs. Kingdom, Karma Kid, Sega Bodega, and others take turns working on the tracks of ‘Club Shy’, but all are produced by Shygirl herself. Kingdom, Karma Kid, and Boys Noize come back to oversee ‘Club Shy’ after all having worked with her in the past. Sega Bodega, Shygirl’s main producer–and co-owner in label, Nuxxe–takes a step back on the project and only produces 2 out of the 6 tracks, an unexpected choice given his contribution to nearly all her songs since 2017. While Shygirl and Sega Bodega have amazing chemistry, his absence doesn’t make the project any weaker as the variety of other producers and herself hold their own at capturing that club sound.


‘Club Shy’ may have nailed the sound, but sitting at just about 19 minutes and only having two tracks reach past 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the project can leave more to be desired. Shygirl seems to have addressed this issue by sharing that the vinyl record will contain extended mixes of each song and that an extended version of the play will be released on BandCamp (and possibly streaming) soon.


Ultimately, ‘Club Shy’ is meant to be an experience, even if it is unlike her earlier works. Shygirl does an excellent job at translating that 2000’s Eurodance sound she grew up with and transports you to the hypothetical dance floor of ‘Club Shy’. Whether you’re seeking some pregame anthems or songs to request at your next club visit, ‘Club Shy’ delivers that dance heavy music that fills you up with infectious confidence and a desire for more. Check it out for your next function.


RAVE:N, THE REMIXES – KELALA (ALBUM)


Following the success of her debut album, ‘Take Me Apart’, Kelela only recently dropped her sophomore album, ‘Raven’, in 2023, marking 6 years between projects. ‘Take me apart’ and ‘Hallucinogen’, both saw remix albums soon after their releases, a tradition Kelea has continued to follow for ‘Raven’ with ‘RAVE:N, The Remixes’. Where ‘Raven’ specializes in R&B with elements of dance, ‘RAVE:N’ cranks the dance and electronic elements up to a 10 and shows a different side of the project, the ravin’.

Following the success of her debut album ‘Take Me Apart’, Kelela only recently dropped her sophomore album, ‘Raven’, in 2023, marking 6 years between projects. ‘Take Me Apart’ saw a remix album a year after its release with ‘TAKE ME A_PART, THE REMIXES’, a tradition Kelela would follow for ‘Raven’ with ‘RAVE:N, The Remixes’ on February 9th. Where the base project specializes in R&B and elements of dance, ‘RAVE:N’ cranks the dance and electronic elements up to a 10 and shows off a different side to the project, the raving.


‘RAVE:N’s rollout shares some similarities with the base project in the singles. ‘Contact’ is reimagined as a dreamier, slower, and instrumental focused dance track with ‘Contact (Karen Nyame KG Remix), whereas ‘Happy Ending’ sees new life as a faster, bass-heavy track with ‘Happy Ending (AG Remix). An original single comes with ‘Closure (Flexulant x BAMBII Remix feat. Rahrah Gabor & Brazy)’, a track that stands out for its new trap-based R&B rhythm and accelerating outro. ‘RAVE:N’s album cover comes from a still in this music video. The final single, ‘Holier (JD. REID Remix feat. Shygirl)’, follows the pattern of increased bass and dance elements with its electronic snares and features Shygirl with new verses, keeping the song fresh. However the song that defines the album has got to be ‘Sorbet (LSDXOXO Remix)’. Where ‘Sorbet’ is a downtempo R&B track that highlights Kelela’s vocals, LSDXOXO completely reimagines the track as a club and EDM heavy banger that uses her voice as an instrument to overlay his brand new bassline and electronic melody.


LSDXOXO and BAMBII actually take a huge part in the base album’s production, so seeing them reimagine songs they originally had little-to-no part in makes for a neat surprise. Naturally with a remix album, new producers and DJs take their own creative liberties when remixing a track, but the common theme of dance never gets lost in the new album. Some producers I would have loved to see on the album include Arca, a past collaborator from ‘Take Me Apart’ and her ‘Hallucinogen’ EP, and A.G. Cook, a master of electronic jungle-beats that could transform any song into a dance record.


The album does suffer from some tracklisting issues, especially with remixes of a given song playing back-to-back, but I have no issues with any of the remixes themselves. ‘RAVE:N’ shows us that Kelela isn’t afraid of others manipulating her work, but instead embraces it for every project. Both the standard and remix albums overlap in each other's genre, but the significant difference in the projects show her ability to take songs across an array of genres. I hope Kelela continues her tradition of the remix album so that whenever she releases her next project, she can offer a new and creative perspective to her own work.


‘RAVE:N, The Remixes’, is an album that benefits from both listening to it as a whole, or just compiling the best tracks onto your party playlist. Kelela has mastered the rave record like she intended, and I hope you find yourself listening to RAVE:N on your own or with your best party people and realize how fast a room can light up with the quality of this amazing album. I hope you give it a try.


VON DUTCH & BRAT – CHARLI XCX


We reach our end with an album that isn’t out quite yet from none other than Charli XCX herself, the mastermind behind many viral songs such as ‘I Love it’, ‘Boom Clap’, ‘Fancy’, and ‘Speed Drive’. Charli recently announced her 6th studio album, ‘brat’, and confirmed it to be a club record ,marking an interesting turn for the pop star. However, Charli’s no stranger to the party scene, she’s frequently dabbled in making hyperpop-adjacent tracks as well as picked up DJing to perform at a variety of shows. She recently debuted her jockeying abilities with her ‘PARTY GIRL’ set at The Boiler Room in NYC, amassing hype for ‘brat’ along the way.


The rollout for ‘brat’ started with a teaser of the lead single, ‘Von dutch’. With just a snippet of the track, fans noticed that this record would diverge from the traditional pop sound Charli mastered early on in her career, and instead indulge in the dance-pop music like that of the 2010’s. ‘Von dutch’ and its accompanying music video released.. well, today! The song stays relatively close to the teaser, only longer and with a big focus on the electronic dance instrumentals and a captivating repetitive chorus that jumps at you seconds into the track. The music video does a great job at disorienting the viewer as the music hypnotizes you as a listener.


We only have a bit more information on ‘brat’ as of right now, one being the controversial topic of the album cover. If you missed it, there’s not a lot to see, the cover features a plain green-yellow background with the word ‘brat’ plastered on top in a low-quality arial font. While there’s talk about the cover being a placeholder, it seems to be here to stay, and honestly I’m here for it. Other information includes the 15-song tracklist sitting at 41 minutes and 23 seconds and rumors of a ‘Von dutch’ remix featuring close collaborator A.G. Cook and newfound popstar Addison Rae.


‘Von dutch’ seems like a promising start to the ‘brat’ era, and whatever the album manifests into, I hope you tune into this power move of an album-to-be’s release. That concludes my favorite dance records of 2024 so far, and I hope you give them all a try.

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