Some may believe there is nothing better than a renowned platinum writer and producing artist taking over the airwaves and our ears with original ideas and individual musical perspective.
Although it is inspiring to see a single artist produce diverse albums, they cannot compete with three renowned multi-platinum artists working in collaboration to create an ensemble of tracks, the likes of which have never been heard before. This is exactly what LSD, a cooperative founded by internationally recognised musicians Labrinth, Sia and Diplo, has done.
Following the success of several individually released singles, the collaborative trio established their sound through Sia’s cohesive composition and writing, alongside the mastermind of fringe-dance, Diplo, and of course Labrinth’s cross-genre production history. LSD’s recently released EP No New Friends manifests the trio’s individual talents within the music production process and are assembled in genius harmony.
LSD’s most recent release and title track ‘No New Friends’, introduces the EP with Diplo’s playful dance beats and ballad-like piano bridges, which sits effortlessly underneath a vocal duet featuring Sia and Labrinth. The energetic track is coupled with ‘Mountains’, which opens with another vocally melodic refrain. This time a simple organ instrumental provides vocal backup, clearly drawing from Labrinth’s gospel music tradition, before the tranquillity suddenly drops away to allow Diplo more beat-emphatic spotlight.
The following track ‘Thunderclouds’ delivers a different sound entirely and is undoubtedly reminiscent of Bob Marley’s ‘Zion Train’. This bass-heavy track looks towards the peripheries of pop music, broadening the spectrum of LSD’s musical style while maintaining a distinctly “Sia-composed” sound. Lyrically, the song maintains a thought-provoking narration of fear and anxiety within a romantic relationship context, as Sia and Labrinth advance their vocal interplay.
LSD shakes things up again in ‘Audio’ and ‘Genius’, with pushes towards RnB and more popular dance music. Despite these inflections, the group aim for a more complex sound in respect to these genres. Whilst ‘Audio’ reflects on similar vocal tones to Sia’s ‘Cheap Thrills’, Diplo leans on his own experience from Major Lazer, and brings that energy aboard these final tracks. ‘Genius’, in particular, is the epitome of the trio’s musical experience combined on one track. Although lyrically not so complex, Labrinth challenges himself in vocal range, to which Sia harmonises with true virtuosity. The chord progression itself indicates both major and minor tonalities (happy and sad sounds to put it simply) which suggests the track has more depth than just another popular RnB song.
Throughout the EP, LSD explores a variety of genres and each of their individual ideas to produce a truly collaborative set of tracks. They offer an insight into the inner workings of the trio’s music production process, proving that this cooperative effort has worked out just as well, if not better, than each individual part.
‘No New Friends’ is out on April 12.