Disclosure delivers at first listen

Disclosure%27s+new+album+%22Caracal%22+is+out+now.+In+addition+to+a+listening+party+on+the+Thursday+before+the+album%27s+release%2C+Disclosure+will+be+performing+in+New+Orleans+Oct.+6.

Disclosure’s new album “Caracal” is out now. In addition to a listening party on the Thursday before the album’s release, Disclosure will be performing in New Orleans Oct. 6.

Heather Andelsman, Contributing Reporter Ben Shooter

Last week Disclosure, an electronic music duo from Reigate, England, released “Caracal,” the highly anticipated follow-up to 2013’s critically-acclaimed “Settle.” On Sept. 24, the day before the release, Hi-Ho Lounge previewed the band’s album as the centerpiece of an event organized by WTUL New Orleans and Winter Circle Productions. While the band is known for large festival performances, including last year’s Governor’s Ball in New York, the Hi-Ho Lounge offered a different and more intimate atmosphere for Disclosure’s music. 

One defining aspect of the “Caracal” songs proved to be the multitude of well-known guest vocalists who contributed. Sam Smith, who is featured on the single “Latch,” from the “Settle” album, returned here to lend his vocals to “Omen,” a single that the band released in July. “Omen” put Sam Smith’s vocals to the test in a slower pop-R&B format that departs a bit from “Latch,” but the track was still well-received, fitting the mellow vibe of the venue.  

Another highlight was “Nocturnal,” Disclosure’s collaboration with The Weeknd, the artist behind this summer’s hit, “Can’t Feel My Face.” This was a wise collaboration for Disclosure, as The Weeknd’s massive popularity is sure to introduce new fans to Disclosure as well. The Weeknd’s slower vocals also played toward the slower R&B-influenced musical style that seemed to become a trend for Disclosure’s newer material.

Lorde also makes an appearance on “Caracal,” lending her vocals to the track, “Magnets.” As one of the most highly-anticipated collaborations on the album, “Magnets” delivered to the high expectations of the audience, with sparse percussive instrumentals, catchy choruses and danceable rhythms that suggested a supercharged version of some of Lorde’s own work.  

Overall, a slicker pop sound was apparent in the songs previewed. This change in sound may have made a few in the audience uncomfortable  perhaps the musicians themselves risk being overshadowed by their famous costars or perhaps the pop feel seems like a sellout to some. Yet most at the Hi-Ho Lounge seemed to appreciate the band’s direction. It helped that songs without guest performers, like “Jaded,” and “Afterthought,” were strong on their own merit and proved equally memorable to The Weeknd and Lorde’s features.  

While the band itself was not present at the event, Disclosure is set to perform live Tuesday at Mardi Gras World.