Groove Armada – Edge of the Horizon
Dance legends Groove Armada may have just saved 2020 for all those missing clubbing. Like Bianca Jagger riding into Studio 54 on a white horse, they have charged back onto the dance scene on a steed of synths and glitter. Ten years after their previous releases, 2010’s complementary albums Black Light and White Light, Andy Cato and Tom Findlay have got back into the studio. Their mission is simple: good vibes and throwing shapes. The opening track sets out this mission. Get out on the Dancefloor features vocals from Nick Littlemore, previously of Australian electro-pop group Empire of the Sun. It combines a Balearic vibe with a David Byrne-esque delivery. The video was made during lockdown and features people dancing up a storm in their homes and gardens in their glittery finest, with a little appearance from Sophie Ellis-Bexter. It is irreverent, infectious fun.
Holding Strong uses the kind of cascading synths that soundtrack driving scenes in 1980s films, while Don’t Give Up has a beat that Janet Jackson in her heyday would have coveted and a vocal made for emotionally warbling along to, with or without accompanying hand gestures and pained facial expressions.
Lover 4 Now was made with a very specific moment in mind: “Ibiza. Poolside at Pikes, that time of the evening when day becomes night and anything seems possible,” say the band. And they sure captured it in the sexy, twinkly vibe. It samples 1985 Italo-disco classic Faces by Clio and features vocals from DJ, house producer and Daft Punk collaborator Todd Edwards. The video is a quarantine love story, directed and animated by Fons Schiedon, which should be compulsory viewing for anyone feeling a little frayed round the edges. It portrays “the long distance relationship between a cat named Cosmo and a dog named Mio” says Schiedon. He wrote the treatment just as New York was shutting down, and Schiedon felt that seeing this “doomy scenario through the eyes of an animal provided a more hopeful, joyous angle”. He adds, “With the cats in my life, I’ve often felt that if I were to disappear, they would probably eventually figure out how to get food delivered using my credit card.” So true, and his work is just adorable.
The album’s title track features Brooklyn band She Keeps Bees and is another engulfing euphoric sprawl. The closing track is pure nostalgia, featuring vocals from Chicago-born artist Paris Brightledge and it encapsulates the album mission statement perfectly: “Dance the pain away.”
While some of the tracks may verge on the cheesy and some of the sound may not be as sophisticated as it could be, this is emergency disco and we thank Groove Armada for it.
Edge of the Horizon is released on 2nd October 2020. For further information or to order the album visit Groove Armada’s website here.
Watch the video for the single Lover 4 Now here: