‘Under Neon Lights’ is the third release this year from celebrated electronic duo The Chemical Brothers, prior to the unveiling of their forthcoming EP ‘Born in the Echoes’. Here, we see the pair staying firmly in their seats aboard the disco bus as they continue to push the funky sounds of their past two releases, ‘Go’ and ‘Sometimes I Feel So Deserted’. ‘Under Neon Lights’ also features the vocals of Annie Clarke – AKA St. Vincent. Come on Annie, first David Byrne and now this? Quit hoggin’ all the cool.
The single starts strong with a vibrant, steady bassline, accentuated by light hissing percussion and a solid kick drum. The neat, plucky synth decays and gets gradually more acidic as the track progresses, starting to resemble the French house sounds of Cassius or Les Rhythmes Digitales.
Past the halfway mark, the powerful layers begin to recede. A heavily reverberated, cacophonous finale full of mashed up samples and random drum hits gets somewhat irritating, which proves an unspectacular finish to this experimental effort. More could have been done on Clarke’s part too, with her samples lacking power and occasionally coming across as flat.
For all the diehard fans out there, don’t go into this expecting a ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ part two. ‘Under Neon Lights’ sees the Brothers pursuing a far more progressive direction that lacks the vibrant, thicker electronic sounds of their previous two releases.
Have a listen to ‘Under Neon Lights’ here: