NMF Roundup: Alan Walker introduces part two of ‘Alone,’ Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko link again + more

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NMF Roundup: Alan Walker introduces part two of ‘Alone,’ Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko link again + moreAlan Walker Credit Rikkard Haggbom

It’s most important day of the week: New Music Friday. With the overwhelming amount of tunes hitting the airwaves today, Dancing Astronaut has you covered with the latest edition of The Hot 25.

As each week brings a succession of new music from some of electronic music’s biggest artists, here’s a selection of tracks that shouldn’t be missed this NMF.

Photo credit: Rikkard Häggbom

Martin Garrix reconvenes with Matisse & Sadko for sixth time on ‘Hold On’ with Michel Zitron

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Martin Garrix reconvenes with Matisse & Sadko for sixth time on ‘Hold On’ with Michel ZitronDwp19a 116

Throughout the course of the 2010s, the triad of Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko have mingled their progressive house dictions a mind-boggling five times. Graced by the likes of “Dragon” to “Forever” to their most recent union, “Mistaken,” it deemed only apropos that the Dutch and Russian producers would reconcile one crowning time before the decade crossed its finish line.

In the midst of Martin Garrix’s THE ETHER ANIMA display from October’s ADE, a suspected sixth collaboration between the three was formally debuted and dubbed “Hold On.” Garrix made it a point to note that the song’s creation process was effortless, saying “we wrote the lyrics, recorded the vocals and premiered the song a few hours later at my RAI show.”

Now, after a slew of teasers this past week, Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko are officially unwrapping the last-minute holiday endowment with both vocal assistance from Michel Zitron and writing backing from John Martin, who previously worked with the trio in 2016.

There are far and few adjectives that can justly be attributed to the angelic, infectious melody that Garrix and Matisse & Sadko have proceeded to contrive yet again. While assuredly reminiscent of their former mergers, the trio’s assembles a stirring concoction of Zitron’s always riveting vocals in tandem with a stupefying progressive taste behind it. With “Hold On” now serving as the sixth official outing in the group’s near five-year partnership, there remains minimal doubt that further Martin Garrix and Matisse & Sadko crusades will emerge in the new decade.

Photo credit: Rukes

Felix Jaehn and Mesto stretch the summer season with ‘Never Alone’

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Felix Jaehn and Mesto stretch the summer season with ‘Never Alone’Tda16c 025

Earlier this year, the cooperative Felix Jaehn and Mesto revealed that a self-proclaimed “festival anthem” was officially in the works between them. Not long thereafter, fans heard the hotly anticipated, “Never Alone,” in a myriad of the duo’s live appearances and more than seven months of intensifying anticipation later, the collaboration has officially seen the light of day.

If the two powerhouse mastheads were not enough enticement, gleaming atop the title, “Never Alone” also calls on vocal assistance from two of the most respected vocalists in all of dance music. Hailed for their work with Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Alesso and more, John Martin and Michel Zitron join the “Never Alone” credits, appearing under their VCATION alias.

Immersed in an invigorating acoustic composition, “Never Alone” finds itself perpetuating the summer season, as Jaehn and Mesto dexterously play to each others’ strengths: from redemptive melodies to a choppy future house chorale. Vocal assistance from the VCATION pairing equips the collaboration with an inspiriting golden appendage as the foursome brings “Never Alone” full circle in addressing mental health concerns, which have wholeheartedly reared their heads among the music industry’s most dire causes.

Jaehn provided some insight into the message behind “Never Alone”:

“I felt lonely before, but now understand that I’m never actually alone. If you go through this world with an open heart you will find countless beautiful souls to connect with, no matter who you are and where you go. You are never alone.”

Featured image: Rukes

John Martin & Michel Zitron talk new VCATION project, working with Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii’s passing [Interview]

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John Martin & Michel Zitron talk new VCATION project, working with Swedish House Mafia, and Avicii’s passing [Interview]VCATION

Dance music supporters of any background can undeniably attest to the fact that, voluntarily or not, the lyrics and melodies of tracks such as “Don’t You Worry Child” and “Reload” have been engraved into their memories forever. This comes partly due to Swedish songwriters John Martin and Michel Zitron, who have played an instrumental role in shifting the landscape of electronic dance music throughout the past decade. The duo has lent their choral prowess to an impressive bill of some of the most recognizable artists on the planet including Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Tiësto, Martin Garrix, and Alesso just to name a few, and now they’re building upon their storied careers.

Earlier this summer, two cemented their longtime friendship into an official brand name: VCATION. The duo has wasted no time getting the VCATION ball rolling. They’ve already unveiled two critically acclaimed singles since the project’s inception in late July with “Lay Low” and most recently, “When We Were Gold.” Both releases have been a clear testament that the Swedes are picking up right where they left off, infusing their timeless lyricism with retro-inspired composition that has quickly proven this project is here to stay. Martin and Zitron are taking full command at the wheel this time around, appearing as the only credited names in the releases’ production, allowing them to shine on both the lyrical front and the instrumental side.

DA sat down with both Martin and Zitron to hear why this was the right time to launch VCATION, the experiences they have had working alongside dance music legends, and their thoughts on the Swedish House Mafia reunion.


You guys have been working together for a very long time and have been involved in some of the biggest releases in dance music, working with everyone from Swedish House Mafia to Tiësto to Martin Garrix. How did you two originally meet one another?

We met through a mutual friend at a nightclub in Stockholm. After 10 Jack and Cokes we decided to be best friends forever and start an indie band, sing super melancholic songs and make impact on the Swedish hipster community. That never really happened.

You debuted VCATION earlier this summer. How did that initially come about? Was forming an official artist duo something you always aspired to do?

We’ve been a duo since day one. All the big projects we’ve been working on have been as a songwriting team. We still write songs for others but we wanted to start a project where we dictate the rules of when to release a song, how it will sound, etc. We both share the vocal duties on this project, but we’re going to invite other vocalists to contribute as well. The biggest difference is the challenge of starting a new brand, which right now feels exciting and fulfilling.

The project’s second official single, “When We Were Gold,” is officially out now. What can you tell us about that release and how have you gone about deciding the genre direction for the music?

We don’t really think about genres anymore. We still have big love for the dance community and many of our songs are easy to dress up in electronic costumes. With that said, we have songs coming up that sounds totally different from anything we’ve done before. We want to invite our new and old fans to a brand new chapter.

Do you have any plans to release a proper project such as an EP or an album or are you more focused on singles for now?

Who listens to albums these days? 🙂

Would you say that VCATION is the sole focus at the moment for both of you, or are you still looking to create music with other artists and producers?

We’re going to focus on everything that feels good. The aim is to make music with people we love and admire. We have a lot of new music coming with VCATION, so we guess that this will take a lot of our time at the moment.

You both played a major role in some of Swedish House Mafia’s biggest hits. What were your initial thoughts when you found out about their reunion? Are there any plans to collaborate again?

It’s amazing to see the guys back together. They truly changed our lives and we’re forever thankful for them believing in us and our songwriting. Our paths haven’t really crossed in a while.

Having worked on music with the late Avicii, you must have gotten to know each other pretty well. How would you describe the experience of working with him? What advice would you give to artists who struggle to balance both their careers and personal lives?

Working with Tim was amazing, he was just a young kid back then. Already then you could tell that he was going places and he knew what he wanted musically, but, on a personal level, he was so unprepared for all the greatness he was about to achieve. On that level of success, most of us human beings crack. We’re just not designed to handle that amount of fame, stress and pressure. Surround yourself with people you love and trust.

The songwriters behind smash SHM hits announce new VCATION alias, release debut single [Stream]

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The songwriters behind smash SHM hits announce new VCATION alias, release debut single [Stream]JohnMartinLindstromMichelZitronqn3J1mKIbi M

Swedish House Mafia‘s “Don’t You Worry Child” and “Save the World” exude a vibrant and timeless electronic personality that would earn the respective singles acknowledgment in an EDM canon if one ever were to exist. The lyrical mastery behind two of SHM’s biggest hits, as well as that of Tiësto‘s”Red Lights,” Avicii‘s “Fade Into Darkness,” and Martin Garrix‘s “Now That I’ve Found You” can be attributed to the collective work of songwriters John Martin and Michel Zitron.

Martin and Zitron’s prowess in songwriting circles will empower the lyricist duo’s latest project, an electronic alias by the name of “VCATION.” SHM enthusiasts can for now put aside their question as to whether Martin and Zitron will pen future releases for the superpower group, and can instead enjoy a nascent preview of VCATION sound through the release of VCATION’s debut single, “Lay Low.”

“‘Lay Low’ is about allowing yourself a break, a breath of fresh air and maybe just pulling the curtains down for a day,” Martin and Zitron said of the song. “The world is f’d up, and we play a bit with irony in the song regarding the current state of society, and regarding ourselves and our own behaviors,” the songwriters added.

A mellow number that touts Martin and Zitron’s fluid, easy listening approach to melodic arrangement perceptible on tracks like “Red Lights,” “Lay Low’s” male vocal-centric aesthetic and unimposing synth work make for a familiar yet fresh showing from the pair.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

H/T: EDM Tunes

New Group VCATION Debut Their First Single “Lay Low”

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New music group, VCATION, has recently released their first ever single, “Lay Low.” Surely you’ve never heard of this new group and who is a part of it. Thankfully, this is the perfect time to find out. Talented songwriters John Martin and Michel Zitron have come together to launch their latest project, VCATION. You may

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