A year ago, in January 2014, I heard a new hit record on the car radio. This was obviously English, and combined an interesting mix of classical instruments, with an electronic dance beat, accompanied by a clear strong vocal. I looked into the background of the group, Clean Bandit. Four young musicians from Cambridge, three men and a girl, they had been around for a few years, and had a previous hit record, that I didn’t recall hearing.
They used ‘guest vocalists’, something of a trend since the late 1990s, which gave them the opportunity to change styles, and to continue to sound fresh. One young woman they had collaborated with previously, Jess Glynne, had had some success with other groups as an occasional singer, but she was to be rightly elevated into the public eye by her lead vocal on this song. Clean Bandit obviously have some serious musical talent, as the instrumental version of the same track is also compelling. It is delivered with sufficient verve to have been used by many advertisers, to the extent that the opening strains of the violin, make it instantly recognisable, to anyone familiar with music in the UK at least.
If any modern dance track can be considered to be a ‘standard’ of the future, then this must surely be in consideration. The unlikely marriage of classical cello, violin, piano, and husky soul vocals lifts it straight above the crowd of similar offerings. And it gets my elderly feet tapping too!
I include both versions here, with singing on the first, and the instrumental second.