10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his fifth studio album, Calvin Harris redefines the banger. As one of EDM’s most unstoppable forces, the Scottish DJ/producer made euphoric dance-pop a Top 40 staple by pairing passionate pop hooks with explosive house beats. But Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1 is post-EDM, with a laidback vibe better suited to barbecues than bottle service. Packed with feel-good summer anthems, it draws from dancehall (“Skrt on Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)”), Motown (“Heatstroke (feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande)”), and breezy California hip-hop (“Holiday (feat. Snoop Dogg, John Legend & Takeoff)”). Considering the guest list, there’s reason to believe Bounces reflects more than just a shift in Harris’ personal tastes: It’s a smooth and soulful forecast for where music is headed next.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On his fifth studio album, Calvin Harris redefines the banger. As one of EDM’s most unstoppable forces, the Scottish DJ/producer made euphoric dance-pop a Top 40 staple by pairing passionate pop hooks with explosive house beats. But Funk Wav Bounces, Vol. 1 is post-EDM, with a laidback vibe better suited to barbecues than bottle service. Packed with feel-good summer anthems, it draws from dancehall (“Skrt on Me (feat. Nicki Minaj)”), Motown (“Heatstroke (feat. Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande)”), and breezy California hip-hop (“Holiday (feat. Snoop Dogg, John Legend & Takeoff)”). Considering the guest list, there’s reason to believe Bounces reflects more than just a shift in Harris’ personal tastes: It’s a smooth and soulful forecast for where music is headed next.

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About Calvin Harris

Talk about an unexpected career trajectory. In 2007, 23-year-old Calvin Harris released I Created Disco, a cheeky shot across dance music’s bow that presented him as Scotland’s brow-arched answer to LCD Soundsystem. Fast-forward a few years, and the scruffy fellow playing house-party host in the “Merrymaking at My Place” video is suddenly baring oil-slicked abs on Calvin Klein billboards. What happened, of course, is that Harris (born Adam Richard Wiles in 1984) traded up from the Amiga computer of his teens, developed some of the best studio chops in the business with deep-house rollers like 2013's “Thinking About You,” and helped spark EDM’s pop crossover with hits for Rihanna, Florence Welch, Ellie Goulding, and others. Along the way, he became one of the 2010s’ first DJ/producer/songwriter polymaths to earn top billing even on the songs in which he didn’t sing. No stranger to pyro-lit main stages—his percussive, synth-strafed 2014 single “C.U.B.A.” is big-room house at its most gargantuan—Harris has resisted getting boxed into any one sound. On 2017’s Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1, he lays down a set of slinky R&B jams for Frank Ocean, Migos, and Young Thug, while the 2018 singles “Promises,” with Sam Smith, and “One Kiss,” with Dua Lipa, proved just how versatile his vision of pop can be.

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