Some artists are trendsetters and others followers. In the current musical climate of EDM, Avicii is turning into the former, a formidable force of hummable piano lines and uplifting house tracks that fill a dance floor and become an anthem even before he headlines his next festival. But with careers shooting up the DJ Mag list as fast as Avicii’s, there are other artists bound to try out the same formula, and Sandro Silva, with recent EP Let Go Tonight, appears to be following in the Swede’s footsteps.
Title aside, Silva isn’t alluding to Calvin Harris’ mediocre pop collaboration with Ne-Yo. Instead, the EP, set for release on December 11, follows at the heels of Silva’s hit “Libra” and claims to be a mini-DJ set rolled into an album format. Silva, if you aren’t aware, is a piano virtuoso who just started producing in 2006, and Let Go Tonight essentially combines this skill with his songwriting and genre-blending aspirations.
“Libra” opens Let Go Tonight with a relaxing calm. But this perceived placid character is quickly supported by an undercurrent of forward motion propelled by circular chord patterns. Even if the opening of the track seems too saccharine trance-like for some tastes, you can’t deny, at least from a musical perspective, the piano melodies Silva can put together – not just their undulating quality but additionally their live-friendly character.
“Libra,” even with its circular chordal motion, isn’t a track that loops back to older themes. Rather, it builds and builds, with new material gradually introduced. From a more traditionally musical perspective, “Libra” shows Silva certainly spent time studying his cannons and fugues while learning piano.
The serene character of “Libra” fades out into “Let Go Tonight” (Vocal Radio Edit), which is perhaps the strangest track on the release. True to the title, a vocal line has been added, one that seems added at the last minute to give the track a warmer quality. Yet, with Silva’s synthpop instrumentation of quick and energetic sequencers, the vocals are lost, out of place, and, frankly, show the weaknesses associated with making a radio hit out of EDM.
Yet, closing the EP is an instrumental version of “Let Go Tonight.” Without the vocals blanketing the track, the instrumental version reveals a lighthearted, disco-pop fusion that can stand on its own.
Showing a darker side to Silva is track “Thug.” If instrumentation personifies a character, “Thug” is a self-controlled, calculating criminal with the occasional softer side. Sticking with a lower range, the track opens with an oscillating synth line that becomes heavier with time. But, while the rest of the tracks on Let Go Tonight stay almost squarely in key, “Thug” is more experimental, with a chromatic group of pitches Silva draws from. Amid the ominous quality and lower pitches, a clearer synth figure emerges, essentially as the calm in a maelstrom, and then quickly disappears.
Let Go Tonight is a promising effort from this up-and-comer, one slightly unfortunately diluted by a vocal track. Silva clearly has a talent for creating uplifting electronic music and crafting a piano line, so why overshadow that?