Settle (Deluxe Version)

Settle (Deluxe Version)

As Guy and Howard Lawrence were making their debut album as Disclosure, neither had any inkling of the seismic shift in dance music it would herald. With its blend of house, UK garage, dubstep, and razor-sharp pop hooks, Settle would help to usher in an era where club music reshaped mainstream pop. But the Lawrence brothers weren’t thinking of the Grammy or Mercury Award nominations or platinum sales that were heading their way—they were just hoping the small group of diehards who’d heard of them would like it. “We’re talking 10,000 people or something like that,” Howard tells Apple Music, a decade on. “To us, that was still amazing and we were super excited about it. We picked up a bit of speed with the Jessie Ware remix we did [the duo reworked her song ‘Running’ into a euphoric banger] but we didn’t think Settle was going to take it to another level like it did.” Having grown up in a musical family in Reigate, Surrey, the Lawrence brothers had been warned about how difficult it was to get a break in the music industry. So imagine their surprise when they found huge success at the first attempt. “It seemed too good to be true,” says Howard. “It was a pinch-yourself moment, because it was something we’d never even considered or thought of aiming for. It came so quickly without much striving for. We were just fortunate to get there without really meaning to. We were just trying to make the best music we could make. It felt very surreal, a bit like watching it from the outside.” Looking back here, Howard makes more sense of it in this track-by-track guide. “Intro” “At that time, if we weren’t listening to dance music, we were listening to J Dilla or really good hip-hop. We wanted to work with rappers, but the area where we grew up, although there are rappers there, they’re not good. I was like, ‘I’m just going to find someone who has the tone of voice I’m looking for and sample it, chop it up and make it sound like he’s rapping.’ I did my best to do that and that ended up being [next track] ‘When a Fire Starts to Burn,’ but after I created that, we thought there was so much gold in what Eric Thomas, the guy I sampled, was saying that we might as well try to use more of it and make it a feature of the record. We wrote some chords over it and did some atmospheric-y stuff and it ended up being this, as well as the intro for our live shows for quite a long time.” “When a Fire Starts to Burn” “We wanted to put this up front because I think it contains all our signature moves. It’s got all the classic Disclosure sounds. I think if you wanted to explain to someone the kind of stuff we do, you’d play this. So it seemed like a fitting place to start the record.” “Latch” (feat. Sam Smith) “We wrote this with [UK songwriter-producer] Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith. Jimmy was managed by the same management as us and he also owned a studio, so we were friends with him for that! He played us a couple of tunes that Sam and him had written and we were like, ‘Oh, sounds amazing. We’d love to write a song with them.’ Sam came to our dad’s auction house in Surrey where we were living at the time—we had this horrible attic studio that was full of cobwebs and didn’t have running water. We wrote the whole thing that day. I think the first thing I thought about Sam was, ‘Wow, what a unique voice.’ Sam had absolutely no knowledge of dance music at all, and that comes with its own set of benefits when writing with us. It was exciting to try something out that none of us had done before.” “F for You” “I wrote the majority of this on my own after a night out where I just stayed out too late drinking with my mates and then got a cold. That’s the ‘I’ve been infected’ part. I wasn’t really thinking the song was going to be put out, I just wanted to show Guy what I imagined a vocal would sound like when we got a singer on it. I went to school and Guy carried on making the tune and finished it and was like, ‘We’re leaving your vocal on there, it sounds good.’ A lot of my favorite stuff has been happy accidents like that.” “White Noise” (feat. AlunaGeorge) “We met [AlunaGeorge vocalist] Aluna [Francis] at Jimmy’s studio. We played Aluna five or six basslines and chord patterns and beats that we had and she was like, ‘I like that one,’ so we just started writing to it immediately—it was about her annoying friend. We had no idea we had a hit on our hands, we were expecting it to be a bit of a wild card that didn’t sound like the rest of the album. We wanted it to be a bit more like Detroit, Chicago house, as opposed to future garage-y stuff.” “Defeated No More” (feat. Edward Macfarlane) “We were huge fans of Ed and [his band] Friendly Fires. I’d been to see him five or six times and I’d been to one of his album signings—and then all of a sudden he was in our studio. It was a meet-your-hero thing for us. We wrote this in about a day and wanted to go really experimental and not try and aim for a big chorus or anything, just have fun with it. The chords are all over the place—that was definitely my fault—and the lyrics don’t really make much sense, but it’s got a nice vibe to it.” “Stimulation” “Everyone thinks it’s a Jill Scott sample but it’s actually Lianne La Havas on this song. We got in the studio with her because we were huge fans. We wrote this really beautiful song that never actually came out and then, at the end of the session, we were like, ‘Do you mind just singing whatever your favorite song is into the mic so that we can sample it and make stuff out of your a cappella?’ and she sung Jill Scott’s ‘A Long Walk.’” “Voices” (feat. Sasha Keable) “This was with Jimmy Napes as well in his studio in Old Street. I didn’t know Sasha—I think our managers sent us one of her demos because she was super early on as well at that point in her career. I heard her voice and was like, ‘Yep, she can fucking sing, let’s get in the studio with her.’ We wrote a standard pop song for this in terms of the structure. The lyrics are kind of weird, they’re about going mad a bit. I really love it. I was going for more of an Artful Dodger vibe on this one.” “Second Chance” “I made this as an interlude idea and it was a Kelis sample [‘Get Along With You’ from 1999’s Kaleidoscope]. I wanted to make a melody out of her a cappella that was completely not the original melody. I changed every note in it to be different, to fit the chords that I had going on, just as an exercise more than anything. It ended up sounding kind of cool, so we put it on the album.” “Grab Her!” “This was mainly Guy, I had very little to do with it. It’s a J Dilla production sample [J-88’s ‘The Look of Love Pt. 2’]. I think he wrote the bassline the same day he wrote the bassline for ‘White Noise’—they’re quite similar when you think about it, all the black notes. I said, ‘I don’t want to change anything about it, it sounds perfect.’” “You & Me” (feat. Eliza Doolittle) “I was a massive Eliza fan from her first album [2010’s Eliza Doolittle]. I thought she was so cool and I spoke to my managers, ‘I think we should get in touch with Eliza.’ They were like, ‘Really? Eliza doesn’t do dance music or garage, she’s a pop singer.’ I just had a feeling it would be sick. It turned out that Jimmy and Eliza grew up together and he already knew her and was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll get her round.’ Eliza grew up listening to garage with Jimmy, so she was all over it. I think Eliza could have a really good garage career if she wanted to, she’s naturally got the writing style of UK garage in her.” “January” (feat. Jamie Woon) “Jamie was another one where we were just huge fans of his music. We hit him up on Instagram or whatever it was at the time, probably Facebook, and he invited us around to his studio in South London and we wrote the tune from scratch in one day. Guy and I grew up jamming together, with our dad or mum, or with people at school. When you have jammed a lot and you work with someone, you can tell if they have or not quite immediately. Jamie has, he’s very much from the same sort of background as us and so we speak the same language musically.” “Confess to Me” (feat. Jessie Ware) “We met Jessie because we were signed to the same label at the time, PMR, and we did the remix of ‘Running.’ It became both of our biggest songs at the time and then we were like, ‘We might as well write one together as well.’ I’d already written the chorus on my own. I was singing the chorus, but I didn’t have any verses for it, I didn’t really know what to do with it. Jessie loved it and nailed the verses straight away, and we were like, ‘Well, maybe you should just sing the whole thing.’” “Help Me Lose My Mind” (feat. London Grammar) “Our managers played us one of London Grammar’s tunes and we were like, ‘Oh, wow, her [Hannah Reid’s] voice is insane.’ We got in the studio with zero idea of what we were going to do. I was just jamming and then I played those chords and everyone in the room was like, ‘That’s what we’re going to write to.’ London Grammar brought this really lovely sensitiveness to the music that we hadn’t really tried before. It was quite emotional and soft and delicate, and we’d been going with the bangers. It was very much a language that we grew up speaking but hadn’t tried to put into dance music yet. It definitely brought something to the record that none of the other ones did.”

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