A curveball track from Michael Calfan

Latest collab with Raphaella serves a melancholy slice of dance pop.


French DJ and producer Michael Calfan has been on a roll as of late. After establishing himself as a bankable artist with Treasured Soul, his next high-profile single Nobody Does It Better – no, not the Bond song – then went on to hit 21 million streams and made it onto the coveted Radio 1 playlist when it was released earlier this year; it goes without saying, then, that Thorns, the eagerly awaited follow-up, had a lot of hype to live up to when it dropped on Pete Tong’s show – and thankfully, by throwing us a curveball, he’s succeeded.

Whilst Nobody Does It Better was a bouncy slice of piano-led house that combined the slick, polished production of today’s mainstream dance music with retro vibes that harken back to the peak of the hacienda scene, Thorns dials down the party atmosphere considerably to make for an altogether more melancholy experience. A throbbing, minor key bassline introduces Raphaella’s impassioned vocal performance, and the intricate, brooding soundscapes grow more malevolent as her lyrics warn of her personal demons – with a heavily processed backing vocal joining in after the chorus that could just as well come from Lucifer himself.

It’s a bold departure for Calfan, who has pretty much only specialised in party anthems up to this point – though rest assured even his most fun-loving fans will find something to admire in the track’s dark, restless groove, as it echoes and rattles as if reverberating round the catacombs.

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