“The same old basslines, the same old samples. We’re a bit bored by it,” brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence, better known as Disclosure, said in an interview earlier this summer about their first album, Settle. Debuting in 2013 with Settle, the British duo slowly gained recognition for their lead single “Latch” featuring Sam Smith, which launched Smith’s career. Hitting the UK charts by storm and reaching number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2014, there is no doubt that their most recent singles will do the same.
If you’ve listened to anything by Disclosure you can instantly recognize their mix of dance, EDM and UK garage sounds. However their newest album, Caracal, steers itself slowly away from electronic to pop. “It’s all very club-influenced, because of the beats, but every song is like ‘Latch’ or ‘White Noise’ — a fully structured pop song,” said Guy in an interview with Rolling Stone earlier this year.
With features from R&B artists The Weeknd, Miguel, Lorde and Sam Smith, we can clearly see the effort and influence they want to pursue. “Nocturnal,” the first song on the album, features The Weeknd, which actually hits the R&B electric-feel well enough to be on The Weeknd’s own album, Beauty Behind the Madness, released in early September. On Caracal, the brothers were lucky enough to bring back Sam Smith, releasing “Omen,” their second official single off the album, on which you can hear their effort to make it as successful as “Latch.” “Good Intentions,” featuring Miguel, a well-known voice of R&B, may very well be one of the best songs on the album. Not only do I have it on repeat, but it also highlights their new sound with a mixture of their original quick beats perfectly.
Towards the end of the album, songs like “Jaded” featuring brother Howard, “Superego” by London songwriter Nao, “Echoes,” and “Masterpiece” take more of a dramatic and lullaby-like turn compared to the rest.
Throughout the album, you can really see how hard they tried to steer away from the musical genre they are best known for. With amazing vocals and edgy lyrics, this was a great sophomore album, and I cannot wait to see what these British boys are working on next.
– Gabriella Tovar