Lots of artists seek collaboration as a way to expand their musical horizons and challenge themselves to think outside their genre-specific box. For Los Angeles-based artist Van Norden, however, collaboration is something of a compulsion. A self-described “hyperactive serial collaborator,” Norden dances between not only other artists, but genres as well. Navigating smoothly between the pop world and into more alternative spheres (think Moby meets Avicii), as well as his regular gig as a member of country roots band SPINdriftr, Van Norden’s new EP, At First Sight, takes the listener on a digital journey with a single path in the form of one composition, appropriately titled “Love At First Sight.”
First (and probably more important for any hope of traction) is the radio edit featuring songstress Natalie Major. A pulsing, energy-fueled harmonic anthem is condensed into a tight package, clocking in at just under three and a half minutes – just enough time to get the job done. Meanwhile, the first of two remixes (the first by DJ/producer An_Hero) is a steady ride along a beat-laden highway with Major’s vocals spliced in to give a droning effect. One can almost picture the hypnotized night-clubgoers in New York grooving along. Lastly, the songs “extended mix” offers more substance and meat than either of the previous two and allows the listener to become really invested in both the melody and lyrics. Believe me folks, this is an earworm, so listen with caution!
These days, EDM is a hot field populated with a plethora of wannabe mixers and DJs just trying to find the right beats to make them the next Skrillex, but Van Norden’s passion is evident in his music. It’s clear he believes in his songs enough to take three tries to truly explore where they can go – and then call that an EP. My advice? Take a listen to all three, then contemplate the message that each one is sending. I guarantee you’ll get something new and different after each listen.