Disclosure - Settle
Record Label: Cherrytree Records
Release Date: May 31, 2013
“We didn't get too heavily involved in making beats with just build-ups and drops; we focussed more on the structure of the songs and how to write melodies and lyrics,” said Guy Lawrence, one half of the sibling duo Disclosure who have salvaged the stale dance genre. But how could two young 20-somethings manage to do that? By scrapping the repetitive formula of your Examples and David Guettas, and instead providing tracks with a bit more soul and emotional depth, something that the dance genre has been severely lacking in since Aphex Twin's absence.
Settle starts off with motivational speaker Eric Thomas telling us “How do you stay motivated in the midst of everything that's going on? How do you build your personal momentum and how do you get in the zone?”, a question most dance artists will be asking themselves after follow up track “When A Fire Starts To Burn” seamlessly arrives with baselines radiating the confidence of Kanye West and a pop hook that Guy and Howard Lawrence seem to have a real knack for incorporating into nearly every track on this record. This is especially true on “Latch” which not only showcases the Lawrence brother's talent but also guest star Sam Smith's whose voice bonds with the show stopping beats to create a track that is an essential part of Settle's backbone.
Smith isn't the only guest star on Settle as Disclosure have taken the wise decision to use any cameos to actually benefit the tracks rather than slap a pop stars' name on it in a bid to sell more copies , dissimilar to that of Calvin Harris. “White Noise” showcases this as both Disclosure and AlunaGeorge were relatively unknown before the track exploded in popularity, mainly due to Aluna's fleecy and seductive vocals melding well the echoing electronics before diving straight into the solid main riff that will carve itself into your head after just a few listens. Eliza Doolittle also makes an appearance on “You & Me”, one of the lighter tracks on the record but is still insanely catchy and, along with “Voices”, highlights the influence that UKG has had on the duo.
Disclosure doesn't have to rely solely on others to provide vocals either, as shown by “F For You” that not only makes it clear that Howard can do more than provide astounding sounds but also shows that the duo aren't going to pigeon-hole themselves by sticking to the one genre as they go from romantic house, to grime infused sounds, to the obvious bass music.
If you ignore the rather odd, anticlimactic placing of “Help Me Lose My Mind”, Settle is near enough a flawless debut. Maybe some will think tracks like “Grab Her” overstay their welcome or are too bland and although they might be a bit straightforward, they're hardly in one ear and out the other like the filler you hear on the majority of dance albums. With the band set to start off a wave of "Disclosuremania" at the various festivals they'll be attending this summer, it's clear that you don't need to be an avid fan of dance music to enjoy them, as long as you have a set of functioning ears then your faith in the genre will be restored.