If you’ve been following JOVM over the last few years, you’ve probably come across a number of posts on the New York-based electronic dance music/neo-disco sensation Escort, a collective formed by producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balls that features frontwoman and bassist Adeline Michele as members of a core group of five that frequently expands to a huge ensemble featuring 17 members for live shows. And since the collective’s formation almost a decade ago, Escort has received praise nationally across the blogosphere and in several major media outlets for a sound that’s been described as a modern take on disco. As that has happened, the New York-based collective has also been part of two major movements in electronic music: the first movement involves the increasing use of analog synthesizers among some producers and artists to evoke a period specific sound; the second being, a push among some producers and artists to use live instrumentation in some fashion to craft a more dynamic live show — or to show that there’s actual musicianship behind the stereotypical image of someone punching buttons on computers and sequencers. The 2012 release of their self-titled, full-length debut not only received breathless praise, it cemented the act’s burgeoning reputation as one of New York’s best, live dance acts — and it also turned their frontwoman into a certified star.
After releasing a number of singles throughout the past few years, Escort will be releasing their long-awaited sophomore effort, Animal Nature through the group’s own label, Escort Records on October 30. The album’s first single, album title track “Animal Nature” reflects the group’s sound over the past few years, a sound that consists of dense layers of pulsing synths, angular, Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar and percussion led by hot flashes of snare drum, paired with frontwoman Adeline Michele’s seductive cooing to craft a song that sounds as though it meshes the urgent sensuality of Giorgio Moroder‘s signature work with Donna Summer and Chic‘s sleek disco, complete with taut and absolutely infectious hooks. And although the club-banger clearly pays homage to the sources that influenced it in a way that doesn’t feel like pure mimicry, it should also help introduce younger (and newer) listeners to some of electronic dance music and pop music’s most influential and important artists and producers; after all, without Moroder and Rodgers, the pop music we’ve grown to love wouldn’t sound the way it does now.