Gone is the era of EDM dominating the American mainstream — a period in which seemingly any Swedish club DJ could simply catch a flight from Ibiza, size up his sound (from deep house to progressive) and instantly become a Hot 100 sensation. This year — largely thanks to streaming services — the most commercially successful tracks have come from rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Drake, or singsongy crooners such as Shawn Mendes and Ed Sheeran. Finally, the Molly-fueled teens of the early-2000s seem to have developed a desire for instruments in their music, a fact that’s reflected in megastar Calvin Harris’s recent switch from big room house (“Summer”) to rhythmic funk (“Slide”).
This doesn’t mean the market for catchy synths is gone entirely though. In fact, for anyone who’s recently spent a Football Saturday on Hill Street, it may even be difficult to believe that EDM’s clout is shrinking. Of course, dance music is still — and probably will forever be — the preferred sound of drunken college tailgaters, and at the forefront of these students’ admiration for the arts is their ongoing appreciation for Galantis.
Ah, yes, Galantis — the DJ-duo that burst on to the scene in 2015 via the overnight success of their breakout single, “Runaway (U & I).” Despite spending the past eighteen-months overshadowed by The Chainsmokers, this bubblegum pop team has officially re-emerged with their sophomore offering, The Aviary. Simply put, the LP is a forty-minute attempt to reclaim their spot on the playlist at Skeeps, but it’s not all bad: “Tell Me You Love Me,” an instantly catchy collaboration with frequent EDM-vocalist Throttle, is one of the best dance pop songs in recent memory.
“Tell Me You Love Me” opens with deep keys and a suspenseful entrance by its singer. Apparently, Throttle has been “up all week,” struggling to decipher indirect signals from a potential romantic interest. This is no heartbreak tale though — it’s a celebration of all that could still be. Snapping fingers arrive during her lead-in to insinuate as much, and just in case this wasn’t enough, the song’s bridge (appropriately packed with ever so deep pleas such as, “Tell me what’s on your mind!”) connects at the chorus with enormously hyper synths, pulsing bass, perfectly manipulated vocals and a meticulously inserted “Woo!” on every couple of kicks. This is where the real party begins!
Already evolving into The Aviary’s biggest hit, watch out for “Tell Me You Love Me,” which could turn into Galantis’s next runaway success.