It has been four years since the release of The Blaze’s seminal album Dancehall. The world has changed significantly since the Parisian duo blessed our ears with their reverberant, euphoric sound. And whilst we had a small snippet of their musical talent in 2020 when the pair linked up with UK artist Octavian, this latest release feels more like the music that propelled them to fame along the lines of ‘Territory’ and ‘Virile’.
In this latest offering ‘EYES’, the pair return to their forceful synths and enveloping chords. It’s made for loud speakers, the kind from the famous Maxwell ad that literally pushed your favourite champagne into your outstretched hand.
“Oh, I feel so down, when you’re not with me” echoes throughout the song. There is a longing for someone that is no more, the singer’s profound vocals drawing out his heartache.
As the words intertwine with pulsating electronic elements, they suddenly drop out replaced with a more piercing synth – the abrupt shift taking the record to a pleasurable more club-like space.
The pair often capture the essence of their musical endeavours with accompanying cinematic videos, which are often extended explorations into the emotions that dance between their velvet-gloved, but no less punchy, sounds. Here, instead of a touching short film a la ‘Territory’, we are granted access to a live rendition, supported by moving imagery of eyeballs blinking and gazing around inquisitively.
Whilst I’ve seen the pair’s music often receive criticism for being formulaic, I argue that it is still a formula that works. Go look at the Porsche 911. If you’re going to critique the English lyricism of French-speaking musicians, I’d suggest removing some of our most adored French-based words from your vocabulary while you’re at it.
I’m looking forward to the album that follows this enthralling single, and if it’s more of the same, so be it. And even as someone who has never been lucky enough to see them perform, I know this is where their music is best experienced. ‘EYES’ is music for ears – tune in below.