From the sunshine of Lafayette, California, comes the debut release from Blaze Clearwater…and bloody hell are you in for a treat; a swirling, whirling, crushing collision of pop balladry, a love of classical music, and full throttle electronic. Deep, powerful piano accompanies Blaze as he embarks on a journey through a myriad of influences to a destination that could easily fit onto a Flume record, or even Bring Me The Horizon’s 2019-mind-dump ‘Songs to listen to…’ EP.
I hear Skream in places, and his ability to utilise low-fi Dub and explode it outwards into music that can physically shake your body to the core. In the case of Blaze Clearwater, you get that without ever losing the pop sensibilities that make ‘Little Fire Dancer’ as much of a pop-banger as it is a dramatic and theatrical piece of electronic music.
The verses carry the narrative in this one, the choruses are the hard-working labourers, the bricks and mortar, that drive this debut onto another level. As we gear up for chorus two, Clearwater’s self-professed love for integrating classical instruments into his music become abundantly clear. Sinister, warping, staccato strings create an unpleasant (in the best possible way) tension before we’re dropped head first back into the whirlpool of heavy EDM. It must be said though, at no point does it feel heavy for heavy’s sake, or gimmicky. It’s cool and calculated enough to justify its position in the track, and genuinely adds and makes for a full sensory experience.
A track like this begs to be played live, to a full club of sweaty punters dancing their night away. As and when that opportunity arises is anyone’s guess in the world we live in, but if any of you find yourselves on the US West Coast, maybe drop into Lafayette, check out the nightlife, and you might just have your socks blown clean off your shoes. Play it loud, crank up the bass, and let yourself be immersed into ‘Little Fire Dancer’. You won’t regret it.