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December 29, 2021
December 29, 2021
For the last few years, I’ve had a theory that the larger artists we saw in the scene years ago would eventually level out or pursue different interests after the electronic music boom relented. Although it turned out to be true for some, the name Diplo had become synonymous with perseverance and reinvention. Like the then-enduring popularity of Morrissey when mainstream radios refused to play his music but still managed to sell out arenas, Diplo worked his brand and the dance floor in order to maintain a serious presence as a super-power headliner. Aside from working with his usual slew of famed artists behind the booth, Diplo recently formed a fabled super-group with Indie-pop star Sia and up-and-coming British rapper Labrinth called LSD.
Humorous use of initials aside, LSD had managed to bend genre-rules in their most recent singles “Genius” and “Audio.” On their newest single, “Thunderclouds,” Diplo seems to take some LSD himself and creates a magical 50s-inspired electric waltz.
The song begins with a simple beat introducing Sia’s deceptively smooth soprano until a waltz appears during the guitar line. The vocal relationship between Labrinth and Sia cannot be understated, especially in this track which pairs the two in duet-format. Although I was familiar with Labrinth’s rap style, I had no idea he had the pipes to keep up with Sia Furler herself. Diplo’s past work ends up in stark contrast with his work concerning LSD. Instead of explosive production that threatens the autonomy of the vocalists, “Thunderclouds” brings a sense of sophistication back to pop and allows every member of the group to flourish as a vocalist. While there are plenty of pop sensibilities to be found, the unique waltz-aspect and the continued riffing of Labrinth and Sia gives Diplo a run for his money in terms of productions mastery. Each member brings a remarkable and necessary element to the table that makes this group stand out amongst the throwaways.