After a flurry of releases on This Never Happened, Sultan + Shepard define their latest evolution in the form of the Something, Everything LP.
Prolific producers Sultan + Shepard have been involved in the dance music scene for quite a while. During their careers, they’ve grown with the times while exploring unique soundscapes along the way. While previous productions from the duo might have included more bangers, more recently they’ve set their sights on the realm of melodic house and techno while catching the ear of Lane 8 and his This Never Happened imprint.
Delivering multiple EPs on the label over the past year, Sultan + Shepard have shifted smoothly into a sound that is dominated by big, beautiful soundscapes, while slowly adding more vocal tracks to their repertoire. You can clearly follow that journey from Kochi to Guaba and finally through Kelam as their emotional vibes set the stage for the current album with six vocal tracks, each one moodier than the next.
Now, after months of anticipation, the duo has officially unveiled Something, Everything for the masses to feast their ears on. This album puts the aforementioned evolution of their sound and exploration of the melodic realm of house music squarely, and beautifully, on display.
Listen to Something, Everything on Spotify on your favorite platform, and read on for a deeper dive into some of the standout tunes on the album!
Stream Sultan + Shepard – Something, Everything on Spotify:
The six vocal tracks on the album really set the tone for the entire album, and do so emotionally and convincingly.
The album opens unapologetically with “All That Remains” featuring vocals be Fractures. While the track can stand on its own without the vocals, the addition of Fractures is a great example of when 1 + 1 = 3. The falsetto vocals, moody lyrics, and a foundation of gorgeous tunes make this track a personal favorite. In the words of Melbourne-based Fractures, “I just make music I like, and hope for the best.” Here’s hoping he keeps doing what he likes, cause we love it!
The remaining five vocal tracks are “Naama,” the previously released “Solid Gold Love,” “White Lies,” “Assassin,” and the title track “Something, Everything.” Sultan + Shepard graciously share the collaborative love to at least four different vocalists: the aforementioned Fractures, followed by Nathan Nicholson, The Cut, and Richard Walters, with only the last serving on two different tracks. (The vocals on Assassin are uncredited.) Each of these combinations sparks its own magic and I long for the chance to sway arm-in-arm with my squad to these tunes with goosebumps on said arms.
While the vocal tracks highlight emotional expression and can do so literally, don’t think for a moment that the songs without vocals are any less expressive.
Part of the Sultan + Shepard magic is in their ability to weave in emotion while creating a wide expanse of soundscapes. Take the previously released single, “nCTRL” for example. A true standout on this album, it weaves atmospheric sound with driving beats that will keep you moving on the dance floor. Then, it adds a melodic layer of not-quite-staccato synths that will keep you on your toes and get you on your feet!
“Don’t Forget” is another memorable non-vocal track. Well, it is cheating a bit as this song does include brief, repeated vocal samples. But the vocals here are an added layer to an already lofty and wide tune, rather than the focal point as with the six fully vocal tracks. The playful echoes of “don’t forget” serve to draw the listener into the tune and will put more attention on the rhythm and melody rather than pull it away. It’s lovely, fun, and very well composed.
While the entire album is noteworthy, the last track I’ll call specific attention to is “Salta.” There’s a simplicity to this one that is counter to the inter-woven complexities found in much of Sultan + Shepard’s work. This simplicity doesn’t distract from the song, it enhances it. This is that moment in the club where you’ve been dancing really hard or down an emotional rabbit hole, perhaps for a little too long, and “Salta” is a needed reset to keep the night going strong.
While Sultan + Shepard have had plenty of success on labels prior to their more recent arrival on This Never Happened, it’s clear that this combination will continue to deliver evolution and beauty as a result. Be sure to listen to the album, as well as the previous EP releases on This Never Happened to take your own personal version of this journey at home!
Sultan + Shepard – Something, Everything – Tracklist:
- All That Remains (feat. Fractures)
- Don’t Forget
- Naama (feat. Nathan Nicholson)
- Morning at Olio’s
- Solid Gold Love (feat. Richard Walters)
- White Lies (feat. The Cut)
- Hold Me Closer
- Something, Everything (feat. Richard Walters)
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