Three years ago, the gentle grace of the piano instrumental positioned at the beginning of “Faded” would not only enthrall listeners, but would elicit the same continuous question: who is Alan Walker? The then-fledgling producer’s breakthrough offering, “Faded,” catalyzed Walker’s ascension into electronic notoriety. Tiësto‘s take on the well-received original only further amplified Walker’s meteoric rise. Walker has since engaged dance music enthusiasts with several singles in the time that has followed the 2015 release of “Faded,” with “Sing Me to Sleep” and “Alone” functioning as examples.
While the successive release of individual songs has provided repeated glimpses of Walker’s electronic mastery, it is ultimately Walker’s debut album that will extend the fullest portrait of his distinctive sound. Walker’s first longform outing, Different World is the answer to fans’ considerable anticipation and renders the wait for Walker’s first extended project worthwhile. The expansive and meticulously constructed production features 15 total tracks and sees appearances from Au/Ra, Steve Aoki, Digital Farm Animals, and Noah Cyrus, among other artists. Different World manifests the cinematic quality that has long distinguished Walker’s music in its inclusion of an atmospheric instrumental at the very beginning of the album, aptly entitled “Intro.” A “Faded (Interlude)” only further extends the cinematic nature of Different World. A tightly threaded collection of songs, Different World articulates Walker’s sonic artistry.
Photo credit: Rikkard Häggbom