Article by: Thomas Taylor
Seeing a contemporary dance music artist rework a classic song from outside its typical genre brings great potential upside for success, but also equally great potential for a corny song. The risk is ever-present when creating good art. The good news is UFO Project and Leo Wood have created an optimistic track that honors the past good days, and the source material, while still feeling fresh and relevant with their new track “New Dawn.”
This song plays with “Feeling Good” by the great Nina Simone in some incredibly fun and artistic ways, while still being a pioneering liquid drum and bass paragon. The original “Feeling Good” from 1965 begins with vocals and jumps into a large brass section similar to a dance-music drop. “New Dawn” is similar in its setup: there’s a soaring vocal from Leo Wood for about 30 seconds and then the listener is treated to pure auditory bliss in the form of driving drum and bass stylings.
The vocals are not a straight remix of Nina Simone’s ‘65 classic, but they do bounce around in the same thematic universe. The circuitous and staccato nature of the liquid DnB beat is at a perfect contrast with the reworked lyrics, which touch on themes prevalent in Nina Simone’s original track and the follow up by Micheal Buble.
Leo Wood is fantastic in support here. She guides the narrative in a soulful way which is truly reminiscent of the great Nina Simone, and that’s not a comment given lightly. Truly, her vocals are soaring and incredibly smooth over this hybrid track.
The melody of the song really shines through nearly two minutes in, as a synth harmony comes underneath the fast-paced drum and bass in support, ever-so-briefly. The vocals purposefully breakdown into a feverish melted-goodness, while the fast-paced jam continues to pound forward in perfect synchronicity -- creating a very pleasing sound in this section.
The song is a binding of the unpredictable, addictive vocals, and a resoundingly well-crafted liquid DnB track, creating an energetic feeling charged with a larger story. Link with their larger body of work below and as always: share music, and love dance music friends!
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