A debut album is a significant milestone in an artist’s career. For nearly all genres with the exception of electronic music, albums are the norm and entirely expected. It’s really only in EDM that an artist can go his entire career releasing singles or EPs without an album and maybe that’s why they feel so much more special.
Today marks the release of Zeds Dead’s debut album, Northern Lights, a collection of 15 tracks that will represent Zeds Dead today and forever more. It’s been a long time since “White Satin,” and their sound has changed a lot in the past 5 years, but never at an elementary level. Between all the EPs and singles and remixes, Zeds Dead have one of the most consistent track records in dance music, putting out one incredible track after another and all with a signature sound – and all of that without becoming repetitive.
Northern Lights shines brightest in its ballads, of which it has a few. Early on, we hear “Blame” with Elliphant, a heavy and emotional track with powerful vocals that soar. Later on, we hear “Neck & Neck” with Dragonette, and “This Is Me” featuring Lips, both strong female vocalists. The blend of sweeping basslines with the higher register of vocals creates a depth of sound that’s terribly hard to recreate effectively, though Zeds Dead have clearly found the secret to success.
That being said, there are still plenty of songs on the album that are still downright bangers like “DNA” and “Already Done,” capitalizing on their love for heavy bass and dubstep rhythms.
There’s been this trend in 2016 away from tracks that are ready-made for another DJ’s set list, and more toward legitimate songs that just happen to be able to mix into sets, and Zeds Dead have found that balance perfectly with Northern Lights. There’s no doubt that a Zeds Dead set has a lot of music that it can draw from, especially from their own discography – but now, there are so many more possibilities.
Listen to their debut album below:
Image via Felicia Garcia