Disclosure (brothers, Guy and Howard Lawrence) have always been ingenious when it comes to dance music and club culture. ENERGY is their first studio album since 2015’s Caracal, and it is testament to the brothers that their return was long sought after. They set the bar with their debut in 2013, and now the duo will always leave a noticeable space when they break, one that seldom gets filled in their absence.
At a time where clubs are still shut and live performances are restricted, lesser artists may think twice before releasing a new album, particularly one so club-ready.
The album starts with ‘Watch Your Step’ a collaboration with RnB royalty Kelis, an artist the brothers have been chasing to collaborate with for some time. It is a steady burner and the perfect tease for what is to come.
‘Lavender’ with the DJ/producer, (and recent collaborator with Robyn and SG Lewis), Channel Tres, revs up the pace slightly yet keeps plenty in the reserves. Tres raps “Same game, different rules; I got nothing to prove,” something which resonates with this third album now Disclosure are truly at the top of their game.
The album name checks an eclectic mix of artists, from mainstream dance culture, to RnB royalty, and renowned African talent. Fatoumata Diawara’s letter of love to her home country of Mali in ‘Douha (Mali Mali) is a contender for sound of the summer. It is the second work with the duo following the 2018 single ‘Ultimatum’, which on reflection sounds like the initial spark which set ENERGY in motion.
The record’s title track also sees Disclosure work with a previous partner, Eric ‘The Power’ Thomas, the expressive motivational speaker. He previously lent his hand to ‘When A Fire Starts To Burn’, the club favourite from Settle.
ENERGY features a few interludes which offer some repose between proceedings as well as the slower numbers. The deluxe edition features tracks which go beyond the all or nothing spirit of the standard record. ‘Expressing What Matters’ released on the teaser EP Ecstasy is a gorgeous soul infused track while ‘Get Close’ is more dance ready – but rightly feels like an off cut.
Disclosure have breathed fresh life and vitality into the final remnants of Summer 2020. While the tracks can not be fully released to their natural habitat, the Lawrence brothers have provided us with hope for a club return full of vitality. Where 2020 has offered misery and despair, ENERGY has gifted us with joy and flare.
You can stream ENERGY now and even explore its own inspired map on Minecraft.