Over the last 3 years, Los Angeles pop genius Duckwrth has consistently pushed modern dance music further and further into the future. 2020’s “SuperGood” brought disco to dizzying new heights, while 2021’s “SG8*” was a summer smash packed to the brim with endlessly replayable hits. On his new EP “Chrome Bull,” Duckwrth continues to amaze with another helping of innovative and exciting dance music.
After a brief intro, Duckwrth comes out swinging with the mind-meltingly groovy “11:30.” The track employs constant deep bass and a subdued synth lead underneath his signature buttery-smooth vocals. The song feels romantic, hopeful and endlessly happy. It’s nearly impossible to listen without getting an urge to start dancing.
“Ce Soir” with Syd takes a much different approach, using light layers of distortion and robotic backing vocals. These sounds accentuate a sensual, deeper melody, perfectly crafted for two. The track resembles a conversation between two lovers: Duckwrth jokes that “We must be speaking a different language” before delivering a French chorus. Syd’s vocals are icing on the cake, making a short, sweet, and undeniably groovy song.
Duckwrth sets his sights on the club scene with “Sneaky,” a house-hop track. The plucky synth instrumental and smooth chorus keep things cool, chill and catchy. The second half of the track introduces gorgeous flute and saxophone sections to the mix, making the song even groovier than it began.
“Beg” explores an up-tempo and airy melody, like a trip through the clouds. Lyrics from Duckwrth and CLAY describe a relationship unbroken by physical distance. The beautiful and catchy chorus repeats that “You can travel the world, all seven seas, can’t find a love as pure as we.”
Calling “Pray” a highlight would be an understatement. A slick guitar lead, twinkling sound effects, and GAWD’s stunning backing vocals leave the song feeling as if it’s coated in gold. It fuses the energy of a gospel song with Duckwrth’s signature dance style. T
The closing song, “Power Power,” is another high-energy track with a distorted instrumental and powerfully confident lyrics. The song ends the EP, already full of high notes, on another high note.
In an interview with Forbes, Duckwrth said, “[Chrome Bull] sounds like the future, but I don’t want it to feel so much like the future. I just want it to feel new.” In seven songs, “Chrome Bull” shows listeners what the future of dance music can (and should) sound like.
Duckwrth continues to keep his fingers on the pulse of dance and pop. His ability to constantly innovate shines brighter than ever. The project is a necessary listen for fans of innovative dance music, and the world should keep its eye on Duckwrth.
Duckwrth – Chrome Bull: 8.8/10