Every so often, a track comes along that manages to do something wonderful and unexpected: It changes perceptions. The xx’s “Crystalised” told indie that it was OK to go minimalist, Kanye’s “Lost in the World” made it OK for hip-hop artists to work hand-in-hand with folksters.
Along came “Global Concepts,” Robert DeLong’s first single off his first ever EP. The song begins modestly, seemingly an intro to a catchy, upbeat alternative hit. With understated, building percussion — a xylophone here, some tropical drums there — DeLong sings about his indecisiveness: “Did I make money, was I proud? / Did I play my songs too loud?”
And then the track explodes, as DeLong seems to speak the magic words: “Did I leave my life to chance? / Or did I make you fucking dance?”
What follows is a flurry. Massive synths seem to transform “Global Concepts” into the ideal fodder for a DJ’s newest club remix. Those tropical drums keep coming back, and his voice adds listenability to what would otherwise be a house hit. “Global Concepts” changes the perception that alternative and club music are always distinct.