For many, musical taste is shaped by their parents during childhood. When you’re young, you listen to what your folks play in the car and around the house. I grew up on a steady diet of John Denver, Paul Simon, and The Who, but it took an unlikely contender to join the ring for my love of music to really start blossoming.
Picture this: It’s 1997. I’m playing with LEGOs in front of the television. My regularly scheduled program cuts to a commercial, and there it is: the three-volume Pure Disco CD compilation – “this is 100% pure non-stop disco!”
I was hooked.
Right then – and for years to come – I played through those discs from beginning to end, captivated by the intricate, syncopated basslines and upbeat dance numbers loaded with strings, horns, and piano. As a kid in the 90s, I wasn’t caught up in the subculture that had emerged decades prior. I wasn’t shuffling off to the discothèque to dance the night away. It was just about the music. Disco showed me that pop could have real grit.
Since the end of its golden era, disco has re-emerged sparingly in the mainstream sphere. Every now and then we hear elements of its influence from groups like Daft Punk or Bruno Mars, but seldom do artists truly take us back to the groovy decade that started it all.
Enter Tomode. This Swedish duo is determined to give Parliament what they always wanted: the funk. They really bring it with “Destiny No. 20,” the debut single from an upcoming EP I can’t wait to hear.
Tomode is Carl Leanderson and Viktor Westerberg. Their shared love for disco inspired them to put their heads together and share the spirit of the 70s through music. What better time than now, when the spirits of many have been shelved?
“Destiny No. 20” is a light in the dark. Try if you will, but from the moment the bass comes in with its descending fall, you won’t be able to keep from moving. In their new song, Tomode has captured what made disco great while crafting a fresh, catchy melody that somehow channels both the Scissor Sisters and Sister Sledge simultaneously.
The harmony created by the chord progression and vocals in the first verse is what hooks you instantly. You hear this Ionian melody which so expertly places a quick dissonance into the mix. Notice it on lines like, “I was so lost, I couldn’t see,” and “looking out for someone to set me free.”
Other highlights of the track include the main riff (that grows catchier and catchier with every chorus), the crispy, clean chicken-scratching, and the instrumental section. Throughout the whole song, I wanted that bass to really knock me out. In the end, it quits keeping the rhythm and starts ripping like fire through a forest. Best believe that, during the outro, my bass face was in full effect.
Tomode has introduced themselves by showing that they’re up to par with their predecessors and that they want to remind us of a magical, important era. Their new single, “Destiny No. 20,” will inspire you to look back and explore those underrated dance-oldies that so often aren’t appreciated for their musicality.
Stream Tomode’s “Destiny No. 20” via Soundcloud and Spotify on June 26, and keep an ear out for their new EP this fall.
Written by Matt Kalicky, Edited by Tatum Jenkins