Just when you thought you were good at something, along comes Disclosure to disabuse you of that notion. The electronic duo, hailing from South London, first caught my attention back in June or July with the release of ‘‘ which was glitchy and unsettling but had just enough of the pitch-adjusted, Sampha-esque to get me on board. That song, though, was really just an entree to ‘Latch’ which is the second real serviced-to-radio track we’ve heard from the lads. The thing about excellence? They’re brothers. Disclosure is 17 and 20 year old brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence who take the concept of what I called emotronica but others have labelled ‘blubstep’ (by virtue of usually sentimental themes) to such dizzying heights that our whole ‘Creative Brothers’ enterprise that we’ve got going on here is under serious threat. It’s not like if we weren’t not super mad producers who scored a deal with PMR (same label that put out other OAD favourites Julio Bashmore and Jessie Ware) we wouldn’t not put out a song as amazing as this. We just haven’t tried yet.
But seriously, Disclosure does the idea of total, unbridled lust so well that we thought we’d leave it to them. Where they might otherwise sound kitsch as hell, newcomer Sam Smith’s amazingly rich vocals bloom and blossom, taking you with them every step of the way from the breathy lows to the unthinkable falsetto heights they scale on the chorus. More than that, the very mechanical connotations of ‘latch’ speak to the intrinsically impossible state of being in love, where there is nothing else but that paradisaical place sketched out in the hook’s rainfall sound effects, hearbeat drums and scatter-gun synths. Again, the falsetto burst as Smith proclaims ‘I won’t let go of you’ might tend towards the overly camp if not for the wonky bass lines the brother install behind him. Just as with the excitement of real love, we know the chorus is coming to drop its blissed-out vision on the yearning verses every time it does and, just as predictably, we fall for the ecstatic transition every time.
What sets ‘Latch’ apart from so much else – and what sucks me back into the emotronica fold only weeks after I tried so desperately to escape its reaches – is that the Disclosure brothers never succumb to the sentimentality that underscores their own track. Instead, ears for intricate details and a measured approach to the whole production which belies their years if not their experience, provides for a track that doesn’t have its romance diluted after a couple of weeks but remains lastingly evocative. Now in the habit of submitting my latest song crushes to this formalised gestation period before proclaiming them the next big thing, ‘Latch’ has passed with flying colours. The that accompanies it and dropped three days ago only reaffirmed my passion for this track as the very component mix I had written off as passe months ago emerges to win me over again; all soulful vocals, relational reflections, perfectly balanced electronic elements. In the world of woozy, emotional music ‘Latch’ is a certain contender for song of the year. And those brothers? They can handle the music, we’ll do the press.
Disclosure – Latch