Premiere: Third Party – Together (REVIEWED)
Friday 15th March 2019. Almost two years to the day since their debut album release ‘HOPE’, prog-house duo Third Party have finally unveiled ‘TOGETHER’, their sophomore production which has gripped fans via various teasers across the span of the past 24 months. Whisper it quietly, but the expectation on the shoulders of the pair, aka Harry Bass and Jonnie Macaire, has weighed heavier in the past two years than ever before.
“With great power comes great responsibility”, and power is certainly a suitable choice of word when describing the acclaim that met the British pair upon the release of ‘HOPE’. Having made their name on circuit with a series of whopping progressive anthems including ‘Feel’ at the start of this decade, Third Party soon found themselves supporting dance behemoths Swedish House Mafia at various events including Miami’s Masquerade Motel, Alexandra Palace and Pacha Ibiza after remixing the Scandinavians’ iconic hit ‘Save The World’. It seemed only right that Steve Angello collaboration ‘Lights’ followed, but it was the 2017 birth of the 11-track album which thrust the Essex pair – and their Release Records label – into the spotlight.
Stacked with the closed-eye euphoria of tracks such as ‘Live Forever‘ and Martin Garrix collaboration ‘Lions in the Wild’, ‘HOPE’ managed to encapsulate the oh-so-rare feat of ensuring that every track – made with such precision and quality – packed the potential for an official single release. Remarkably, ‘TOGETHER’ repeats the achievement, via 9 of the most cleverly crafted productions in modern dance music history.
“‘Together’ has been a real labour of love for us,” said Jonnie Macaire.
“For the first time ever we totally threw out any expectations of sticking to one genre and gave ourselves complete creative license to go wherever the music took us. That has resulted in some of the best music we’ve ever made. We have the big 90s samples in there, there’s a definite UK rave vibe running through the whole thing, but it’s also current and up to date and it works so well out in the clubs, fans have been going absolutely nuts for it out on the road. You can tell it’s Third Party through and through.”
01 ≡ Higher – Blessed with a signature build teetering perfectly along the balance of both atmospheric and euphoric, a brief pause greets listeners before the breakdown of the album opener bursts into life. With a rhythmic streak accompanying the production, ‘Higher’ is sure to be met with hands clapping in unison to the melody during live shows.
02 ≡ Free – Sampling Rozalla‘s 1992 hit ‘Everybody’s Free’, this one was the appetiser for the album’s main course, having enjoyed an official single release last summer. Dropped by NERVO in their 2018 Tomorrowland set, ‘Free’ is a true slice of arms in the air, fingertips outstretched, prog-house luxury.
03 ≡ Remember – With emotive vocals provided by Third Party’s very own Harry Bass – who performed the track ‘LIIIVE’ at their recent show in Liverpool – ‘Remember’ flaunts the duo’s typically explosive style thanks to one of this year’s most unforgettable drop & melody combinations.
04 ≡ Together – Echoing shades of an early Daft Punk-esque sound, Third Party demonstrate their dynamic diversity on track 04 of ‘TOGETHER’, fusing synth-led bleeps with a slick electro-sounding retro build and main-stage ready breakdown.
05 ≡ Shadows – Third Party have certainly kept their admiration of Swedish maestro Eric Prydz no secret over the years. In the form of ‘Shadows’ the pair have crafted a deliciously crisp electro-prog production strengthened by the same kind of Pryda-inspired sounds heard on tracks like ‘Generate’. Every album needs a firm fans favourite… We may have just found it.
06 ≡ Midnight – Soaked in gorgeous 80’s synths, ‘Midnight‘ lends a firm nod to the retro sounds of the vocal house era. “We’ve had the 80s sample in the bag for quite a while now,” the boys added. “But when we first nailed those big chords and put the vocal on top, we knew we were into something special.”
07 ≡ Come With Me – Containing everything we love about the pair in one track, the blissful vocals of ‘Come With Me’ are compliment by shimmering chords and riveting bass. A heartwarming, euphoric, and uniquely sound which Third Party thrive in, the track is the last of four previous single releases on the album.
08 ≡ Falling (feat First State & Anita Kelsey) – A beautifully melodic production filled with more wistful and percussive elements, ‘Falling‘ samples the original 2007 trance version from First State is laced with the vocal of Anita Kelsey and whose wistful delivery of the track’s key line “Falling under your spell” will no doubt be bellowed back to the duo at forthcoming performances.
09 ≡ Northern Lights – Another Bass backed vocal sees Third Party round off the album with the fitting finale of ‘Northern Lights’. Displaying their powerful production prowess, the duo air their signature sound on the track which looks ready-made for club floors all over the globe.
Currently in the midst of their worldwide tour, Third Party’s TOGETHER album is the perfect aural embodiment of everything their live shows represent; uniting party goers through the common ground of euphoric and progressive house music. Facing up to the daunting task of tackling the famed ‘second album syndrome’ which has previously plagued so many of the world’s finest acts, Third Party smash through the heavy expectations placed upon them via the success of ‘HOPE’, delivering a 9-track production filled with future classics.
“It’s also been the most personal project we’ve worked on,” Harry Bass added.
“For me, singing on ‘Remember’ and ‘Northern Lights’ bought a whole different element to producing and I’m really proud of both tracks. It’s been amazing to hear so many great comments from people we meet in the clubs and people listening online to the music that’s already come out. The whole album really is for them, to celebrate all of us coming together through music.”
Acting as the torchbearers for a rising trend in high-quality UK dance music, the release of TOGETHER precedes their forthcoming show at London’s Ministry of Sound – (where Third Party will be joined by their fanatical ‘Release Family‘ fanbase) – on Friday 5th April (tickets available here). With the pair staying true to their artistic ethos, the new album is the final product of everything Third Party stand for… Bringing people TOGETHER.