Summer 2022 has seen an explosion of tracks I’m going to call Halfway House hits. For decades we’ve had songs that sample another, that is lift a bit of sound from an original track and build it into something new. We’re also well used to the cover version where a new artist puts their spin on a song originally made by someone else.
This new genre takes it well beyond sampling but they’re not quite full cover versions, as there’s plenty of originality in them too. The hits of the 90’s seem particularly ripe for this kind of remake. For those who were born after Britpop, it’ll be the first time they’ve heard these tracks, for others there’s a huge feeling of “where have I heard that before”?
Here are some of this summer’s best:
Alok and Ella Eyre – Deep Down
With large parts taken from the Nightcrawlers’ banger Push The Feeling On, this joyous summer anthem put its own spin on the lyrics to keep things fresh. If you listen carefully, you’ll also hear a bit of Crystal Waters’ Gypsy Women in there too.
Icona Pop – You’re Free
Sweden’s Icona Pop start with the chorus of Ultra Nate’s Free then build a completely different song around it. It’s not the most original of this type, but Icona Pop have a guaranteed floorfiller here.
PS1 – Party Like
This one is a classic. Half the track is stone-cold club classic – the other half borrows heavily from one of the cheesiest tracks ever… Whigfield’s Saturday Night. Maybe, if you weren’t around in 1994, it won’t sound naff to you… for everyone else it’s going to bring back bad memories of synchronised dance moves at school discos and weddings.
Topic – Kernkraft 400 (A Better Day)
In a reverse of the PS1 formula, Topic have taken a credible club track and made it a lot more commercial. They’ve built a bright pop song about having a Better Day over the deep and dark beats of Kerncraft 400’s Zombie Nation.
I love playing the “where have I heard that before?” game when I first hear these tracks. Is it a good thing? Or is it showing a lack of originality? It depends on your point of view, but I like the way these acts are taking something from decades ago and doing something new with it.
Written by Euan McMorrow, Content Director at AVC Immedia.