Halloween 2013 was a good time. Disclosure faces added later, although "Latch" was probably played that night.
In the latest edition of #SoloBrolo, which is like a 2 bro version of #StaffChat, Darren and Porter (pictured above) discuss Disclosure's sophomore album Caracal.
dkataja [9:06 PM] SOLO BROLO
importer [9:06 PM] We doin it we doin it we doin it live
importer [9:06 PM] E-Holes, what's goooo0000000000dddd?
importer [9:06 PM] Darnell, how art thou?
dkataja [9:07 PM] I'm the only one that uses "Earholers" instead of "E-Holes" to address the readers
dkataja [9:07 PM] Did I miss the memo on that or something
importer [9:07 PM] E-Hole is hilarious
importer [9:07 PM] Quit being such an E-Hole about it
dkataja [9:08 PM] Maybe if you stopped being such a despicable earholer
importer [9:08 PM] Agree to disagree
dkataja [9:08 PM] Anyways, I'm doing well man. Studying like mad for a test I have next week
dkataja [9:08 PM] Got paid today
importer [9:08 PM] Also got paid today
dkataja [9:08 PM] Call me rich homie darius
importer [9:08 PM] Spent it all on rent like a champ HASHTAG NEWYORKSHITTY
dkataja [9:09 PM] hey man you could have it worse
dkataja [9:09 PM] you could live in new jersey
importer [9:09 PM] America's armpit
dkataja [9:10 PM] Duke's source material
importer [9:10 PM] (the view of our writers do not always coincide with the Earhole brand and we apologize for any crude/hurtful statements)
importer [9:10 PM] Alright enough dicking around
importer [9:10 PM] Let's talk about one of 2015's most highly anticipated album drops:
importer [9:10 PM] Disclosure's Caracal
dkataja [9:13 PM] Settle, their first album, was a huge success and actually launched the career of two artists: Disclosure themselves and Grammy-award winning Sam Smith
importer [9:14 PM] And what I found so interesting about that album was that it was so different than the large EDM music scene at the time
importer [9:14 PM] "Latch" was massive
dkataja [9:15 PM] And they were, like, 19 right?
dkataja [9:15 PM] Teenagers
importer [9:15 PM] So big it was released in 2012 and topped the charts in 2014
importer [9:16 PM] They couldn't even drink at the bars this song played in
dkataja [9:16 PM] ^^in the US
dkataja [9:16 PM] hashtag dumb laws
dkataja [9:17 PM] But yeah, this was different than Taylor Swift coming on the scene as a teenager
dkataja [9:17 PM] She was operating well within established norms for sound and style. Her precocious songwriting ability is what propelled her in to the mainstream
dkataja [9:17 PM] These dudes, like you said, came in and immediately changed the sound of their genre
importer [9:18 PM] It was met with widespread critical acclaim
importer [9:18 PM] 9.1 on Pitchfork
importer [9:18 PM] 4.5/5 on Billboard
importer [9:18 PM] 8/10 on Spin
dkataja [9:19 PM] It's certainly a big act to follow. How does Caracal stack up, in the esteemed eyes of Ian "I Work In the Music Industry" Porter?
importer [9:19 PM] I'll take the easy way out
importer [9:20 PM] on a 0-1 scale, it is a 1
dkataja [9:20 PM] Which means?
importer [9:20 PM] it means it has more things going for it than working against it; also, that it deserves multiple listening sessions
importer [9:22 PM] The band is undeniably influenced by 90's house music
importer [9:23 PM] rather than going for the homerun every time like many songs of this era, they prosper in being subdued and detail oriented
importer [9:24 PM] their attention to detail has always been their strongsuit. and when matched with the subtlety of their sound it creates thing incredibly unique sound
importer [9:25 PM] at the same time, they have some of the biggest collaborations in electronic music
dkataja [9:26 PM] Both Settle and Caracal are littered with guest spots
importer [9:26 PM] not all of them work, but when they do they kill
importer [9:27 PM] In Settle, they brought out up and comers like Sam Smith, AlunaGeorge, Jessie Ware and Eliza Doolittle
dkataja [9:27 PM] London Grammar
importer [9:27 PM] her as well
importer [9:28 PM] but now that they are household names, they had some really big names on Caracal
dkataja [9:28 PM] huuuuuuuge
importer [9:28 PM] yuuuuuuuuuge
dkataja [9:28 PM] The album opens with "Nocturnal" ft. The Weeknd
dkataja [9:29 PM] Sam Smith (now yuuuugue) makes another appearance on the next song "Omen"
dkataja [9:29 PM] Lorde is here. Miguel
importer [9:29 PM] big big names
dkataja [9:29 PM] The caliber of guest -- at least measured by name recognition/star power -- is far greater on this record
dkataja [9:30 PM] keeping pace with Disclosure's own heightened star power
importer [9:30 PM] two large questions come out of this fact
importer [9:30 PM] okay maybe three
importer [9:30 PM] we'll start with the big one
importer [9:31 PM] Were Disclosure and Sam Smith able to capture the magic they had on "Latch" with "Omen"?
dkataja [9:31 PM] In short, no
importer [9:32 PM] I honestly think that was an impossible task
dkataja [9:32 PM] Part of the magic from "Latch" was the unexpected-ness of its gargantuan success
importer [9:32 PM] exactly
importer [9:32 PM] i hadn't heard of either Disclosure or Sam Smith
dkataja [9:33 PM] And you're a music head
importer [9:33 PM] totally blindsided
importer [9:33 PM] i think everyone was
dkataja [9:33 PM] It really was out nowhere
dkataja [9:34 PM] They went from unrecognized names to playing at every pregame and bar across America in about a week
importer [9:35 PM] So in my Spotify I have a pregame playlist that I play for every party
dkataja [9:35 PM] (I also play it for every party)
dkataja [9:35 PM] (hashtag free riding)
importer [9:35 PM] I use Tom Haverford's "Is it a banger?" criteria
importer [9:37 PM] totally kidding, but really to make it on the playlist it has a song has to hit me the right way
importer [9:38 PM] "Latch" was a no-brainer add, and I think "Omen" was too
importer [9:38 PM] the synths careen so well with Sam's powerful voice
importer [9:39 PM] the difference is the drop, which I don't think hits as hard as "Latch" did
dkataja [9:40 PM] Here's the thing. "Omen" could be just as good of a song as "Latch." Maybe it is. But It's never going to mean as much to anyone as "Latch" did
dkataja [9:40 PM] It'll always be the slightly less successful younger brother
dkataja [9:41 PM] Its parents will say they love it equally, but they won't. Not really
importer [9:42 PM] hahahaha
importer [9:42 PM] i like that, but also hope im not that sibling
dkataja [9:42 PM] lol don't we all man
dkataja [9:43 PM] That's probably a harsh way of saying what you already said: it was an impossible task to match "Latch"
importer [9:43 PM] Interesting question: do you like the well-known artist collabs or the lesser-known collabs better on Caracal?
importer [9:43 PM] or the ones where Guy and Howard themselves sing?
dkataja [9:44 PM] Ooooh. Does this count as question 2 and 2a or 2 and 3
importer [9:44 PM] we'll say 2 and 2a should i figure another out
dkataja [9:44 PM] I'll answer this with a list. Top 3 collabs plus the worst collab
importer [9:44 PM] fair
importer [9:45 PM] (drum roll)
dkataja [9:45 PM] 3) "Magnets" ft. Lorde
dkataja [9:46 PM] 2) "Masterpeice" ft. Jordan Rakei
dkataja [9:47 PM] 1) "Hourglass" ft. LION BABE
importer [9:47 PM] very very interesting
dkataja [9:48 PM] The worst is "Good Intentions" ft. Miguel
dkataja [9:49 PM] I was surprised I liked the Lorde song so much
importer [9:49 PM] Really? I think Lorde hasn't taken an L yet
dkataja [9:50 PM] I read a little about it and it was very spur of the moment, which i think is cool. They hit the studio without anything ready and made "Magnets"
importer [9:50 PM] no shit
importer [9:50 PM] that's unreal
dkataja [9:50 PM] She literally hit them up saying "yo I'm in London let's get in the studio"
importer [9:51 PM] tangent: Lorde's curation of the Catching Fire soundtrack was one of the best albums of 2014
dkataja [9:51 PM] Oh dude, yes. Bright spot in a shitty year for music
importer [9:51 PM] I still get Stank Face when I listen to "Meltdown"
dkataja [9:52 PM] "Masterpiece" ft. Jordan Rakei is a comedown for the album. Downtempo
dkataja [9:52 PM] More crooning
dkataja [9:52 PM] The moments where the synth and bass pick up are toooo tasty though
dkataja [9:52 PM] I get that slow head bob goin
importer [9:53 PM] love making music
dkataja [9:53 PM] Speaking of bass, tho...
dkataja [9:53 PM] Best musical moment on the album is the bass solo in "Hourglass" ft. LION BABE
importer [9:53 PM] My word, I fully agree
importer [9:54 PM] Again with the subtle choices by Disclosure
importer [9:54 PM] just when you think you're getting hit with a melody-oriented drop, they pull the floor up under you
dkataja [9:55 PM] My new car has a pretty decent stock sound system. Or, at least, it's better than the stock system in my last car
dkataja [9:56 PM] It might be unsafe how high I turn the volume for that part
dkataja [9:56 PM] Quake inducing
dkataja [9:56 PM] It's better loud
importer [9:57 PM] the whole album is, but certainly here
dkataja [9:57 PM] Real quick and then hit me with your list: "Jaded" is clearly the best song on which the brothers themselves sing
importer [9:58 PM] two things: the lead singer of Lion Babe is Vanessa William's daughter and is, not to take away from her talent one bit, fuckin gorgeous
importer [10:00 PM] and I fully disagree with you, i think "Jaded" is the worst song on the album ("Echoes" is the best Disclosure-only song)
dkataja [10:01 PM] Oooooh interesting. I vibe with "Echoes"
importer [10:01 PM] but i digress: here are my top 3 collabs
importer [10:02 PM] ill pick a different 3, but I really fuck with "Magnets"
importer [10:02 PM] 3.) "Willing & Able" ft. Kwabs
importer [10:02 PM] 2.) "Superego" ft. Nao
importer [10:03 PM] 1.) "Holding On" ft. Gregory Porter, which is IMO the best song on the record
importer [10:03 PM] and the closest we get to "Latch"
importer [10:04 PM] and least favorite is "Good Intentions". WTF happened to Miguel this year?
dkataja [10:05 PM] Good intentions and poor execution
dkataja [10:05 PM] It's funny that the song is called "Good Intentions"
dkataja [10:05 PM] it's a built-in "You Tried" which is exactly what it deserves
Note the Comic Sans and the disappointment. Here ya go, Miguel.
importer [10:06 PM] His album was the biggest letdown of 2015 for me, blew it on "Everyday" with A$AP and had the softest album cover in years
This is truly the cover of Wildheart, released earlier in 2015.
importer [10:07 PM] like, what dude?
dkataja [10:07 PM] Yeah seriously. What in the actual
importer [10:07 PM] Enough hating here: I'll explain my 3
importer [10:08 PM] I orginally hated "Willing & Able" but the song is a slowburner
dkataja [10:08 PM] I agree
importer [10:08 PM] Kwabs has this amazing voice that I didn't appreciate on the first listen, powerful with a lot of character behind it
importer [10:09 PM] and the beat floats over it really well
importer [10:09 PM] not the mention the video for the song is mesmorizing
importer [10:10 PM] and I think it has the best line on the album "If I'm gonna fall in, I'm gonna fall all in."
dkataja [10:11 PM] You bastard, I was literally typing that
importer [10:11 PM] hahahahaha
importer [10:11 PM] glad we're on the same page
importer [10:11 PM] Okay, "Superego"
importer [10:12 PM] Nao does really well here, with a similar tone of Aluna from AlunaGeorge
importer [10:12 PM] but the production in this is so money it hurts
importer [10:14 PM] the only adjective I can describe it with is "syrupy"
importer [10:16 PM] but at the same time nails it with those staccato notes over the top of the beat
dkataja [10:16 PM] I think "Superego" is a good complement content wise to "Magnets". Lorde is super confident and a little jealous. Nao is put off by her companion's inability to look beyond himself
dkataja [10:17 PM] Opposite situations described by female vocalists
importer [10:17 PM] didn't even realize that, really good point
importer [10:18 PM] and finally, I can't stop smiling during "Holding On"
importer [10:19 PM] Gregory Porter has such an interesting voice
importer [10:21 PM] and capture emotion so well. "Though my past has left me bruised/I ain't hiding from the truth/When the truth won't let me lie right next to you" hits me like a freight train
importer [10:22 PM] it's such a harsh realization when you realize you can't reciprocate the love that another is giving you
dkataja [10:23 PM] "I found my heart had grown colder/but the warmth of your kiss I can't dismiss"
importer [10:23 PM] especially when he loves another
dkataja [10:24 PM] Moving on is so hard
importer [10:24 PM] and the best part is that it's over this jubilant beat
dkataja [10:24 PM] Yeah this is the first time i'm really paying attention to the lyrics and damn it's somber af
importer [10:24 PM] which cracks me up
importer [10:25 PM] I'll be honest: it's hard to listen to the lyrics in Disclosure because the production is so strong
importer [10:26 PM] but when you do, it's like unwrapping a present
dkataja [10:26 PM] That production is a real strength of both their albums
importer [10:27 PM] unreal transition coming
dkataja [10:27 PM] Which brings us to a take from our resident Take-Maker, Ethan "Squints" "Lederhosen" Butler
"It sounds exactly like their first album" is both the worst critique and highest compliment you could have for the new Disclosure record— Ethan (@ethanfbutler) September 30, 2015
dkataja [10:27 PM] What do you think of this take?
importer [10:28 PM] I agree 100%
importer [10:28 PM] usually in a follow up album you expect an evolution in a group's sound, at least that's what I look for
dkataja [10:28 PM] Right, some kind of step forward
importer [10:29 PM] for example, Tame Impala nailed the transition from Lonerism to Currents
importer [10:30 PM] (did I mention I'm going to see them next week? HASHTAG NOT SO HUMBLEBRAG)
importer [10:31 PM] I can't find a step like that in between Settle and Caracal
dkataja [10:31 PM] Here's the compliment part of the take, though
dkataja [10:31 PM] Settle WAS a step forward
dkataja [10:32 PM] for, like, the genre at large
importer [10:32 PM] very true
dkataja [10:32 PM] It carved out the space Disclosure now lives in
importer [10:33 PM] making them ambassadors of the genre rather than participants
dkataja [10:33 PM] It's kind of like the "Omen" syndrome, I think
dkataja [10:33 PM] Expecting a step forward from a genre-advancing album is asking a LOT
importer [10:34 PM] I think so too, I selfishly expected that huge leap that didn't show up
dkataja [10:34 PM] We want Disclosure to be Disclosure
dkataja [10:34 PM] This album is clearly Discsloure
importer [10:35 PM] and as the Pitchfork review explained, other groups are coming for their sound
importer [10:35 PM] Years & Years' Communion is the best example. Same style but they have in-house singer Olly Alexander who is crazy good
importer [10:35 PM] but they're not there yet. And until another group does, Disclosure can get away with it
dkataja [10:36 PM] One amendment to what I just said: This album is clearly Disclosure, except for "Nocturnal" which belongs on The Weeknd's record
importer [10:37 PM] Without a doubt sounds like it should've been on Beauty Behind the Madness
importer [10:39 PM] I can live with the lack of a leap for sure
importer [10:40 PM] But my biggest frustration with the album was its release
importer [10:40 PM] Over half of the songs that were on the album were released weeks leading up to the album
dkataja [10:41 PM] All with videos too
importer [10:41 PM] By the time I got to Caracal I had overplayed them and lost the feeling of a cohesive album
importer [10:41 PM] Which I found incredibly disappointing
dkataja [10:42 PM] Maybe it was because I've been so busy and more disconnected from the stream of new music than usual, but I didn't find it as offensive
importer [10:42 PM] how so?
dkataja [10:42 PM] It's probably not good that the industry is trending this way, but I think you and I are in the minority now, Porter
importer [10:43 PM] funny you say that
dkataja [10:43 PM] whole-album listeners are dwindling
dkataja [10:44 PM] i view this tendency to release a lot early as kind of a "give the people what they want" type thing
dkataja [10:44 PM] I have no proof for this, but i also suspect it's a way to combat leaks
importer [10:44 PM] it's too true
importer [10:45 PM] I was talking to a coworker of mine about my frustration with it
importer [10:45 PM] and he's been in the industry for years
importer [10:46 PM] just said to me: "It's funny that you still listen to music like that, you old head"
dkataja [10:47 PM] Yeah, exactly!
importer [10:47 PM] I'm fully guilty. I grew up on American Idiot and Dark Side of the Moon, and did musical theatre in high school. I didn't stand a fuckin chance!
dkataja [10:48 PM] I grew up with a father who collected records -- like, actual records -- and then CD's
dkataja [10:48 PM] I, too, was destined to grow up a disciple of the full album listen
importer [10:49 PM] I think the best advice for our readers is to, and I hate that im saying this, pick your spots on this album
importer [10:49 PM] it can be hit and miss, but there's something for everyone here
importer [10:49 PM] Final rating, Dmitri?
dkataja [10:50 PM] I said something to you earlier about how "when I'm in the mood for it" I really, really vibe with it
dkataja [10:50 PM] Which to me means we're both saying the same thing. It's good, probably really good, but also probably a bit hungover from Settle/"Latch"
importer [10:51 PM] Again, it's a 1 on the 0-1 scale
dkataja [10:51 PM] I fluctuate between a 7 and 8 of 10
importer [10:51 PM] But with the "when I'm in the mood for it" qualifier hold me back from anything higher than a 7 out of 10
dkataja [10:52 PM] Not disappointing. Not earth shattering
importer [10:53 PM] Right in the pocket
dkataja [10:53 PM] The high moments carry the album past any low ones
dkataja [10:53 PM] I'll be playing it at my parties...through Porter's playlist
dkataja [10:53 PM] hashtag technology
importer [10:53 PM] hashtag friendship
dkataja [10:53 PM] hashtag SOLO BROLO
importer [10:54 PM] hashtag L8R SK8RS
Have a suggestion for a #StaffChat/#SOLOBROLO topic? Drop us a line in the comments below, on Twitter (@earholeblog), on Facebook (/earholeblog), or at firstname.lastname@example.org.