Every summer, a handful of records are so ubiquitous that they quickly become part of our shared musical memories. It’s long been an established part of dance music, though the boom in sun-baked European festivals and clubbing focused holiday resorts has certainly exaggerated the trend. While some more commercially-minded record labels – Defected, as an example – actively seek out these kinds of tracks and promote them in the run-up to the Ibiza season, predicting which records will strike a chord with a wide range of DJs is notoriously hard to predict. Few would have marked out Storm Queen’s “Look Right Through” – however good it was – as an Ibiza anthem, but that’s what it became in the years following its’ initial 2010 release. That eventually topped the UK singles charts, of course, albeit in a radically remixed form.
Last year’s summer anthem of choice – in house circles, at least – came from a more surprising source. While Jack Jutson had previously released some great deep house records as part of Pender Street Steppers, none had struck a chord in the way that “Something (On My Mind)” did this time last year. Featuring a perfect blend of dreamy, cyclical melodies, loose and live-sounding drums, drifting jazz horns and a killer bassline, it sounded just as good at 11 in the morning as it did at 11 at night. 12 months on, Jutson returns with his second solo single, and there’s every chance that it will become every bit as ubiquitous as its’ lauded predecessor. This time, though, few will be surprised if it becomes an anthem; in truth, most expect “Thirstin” to become one of the most-played records of the summer.
It is certainly an impressive piece of work from the amiable, straggly haired Vancouver producer. Like its’ predecessor, it has a stoned haziness that replicates the feel of groggily waking up after a mid afternoon snooze in the sun. This is as much a product of Jutson’s copious use of delay on the loose, shuffling beats as the rich keys that provide much of the track’s melodic focus. The prominent bassline and jammed out chords play their part, too, but it’s the fuzzy, sun-baked vocal that really lifts the track towards “likely anthem” status. Given that it’s buried a little in the mix and drenched in delay, it will hardly cause “sing-along” moments out on the floor, but it’s likely more than a few loved-up dancers will at least attempt this over coming months.
The accompanying B-side is every bit as strong as Jutson’s lead track. Seemingly built around the same bassline and jammed-out chords – or at least variations on a theme – “Atmosphère” sits somewhere between an old-fashioned dub and a live jam. The beats, stripped of their delays, feel looser and jazzier, an effect heightened by the twinkling piano solos that liberally stretch out across the track’s six-minute duration. The slightly stripped-back production also allows the bassline more room to impress, giving listeners a chance to revel in its’ rubbery, jazz-funk-meets-disco glory. While “Atmosphère” lacks the instant appeal of “Thirstin’”, it’s arguably a more musically rich alternative. It’s definitely as deep, warm and intoxicating.