When SG Lewis began work on his debut album, there was one mood he had in mind: euphoria. Inspired by his lifelong fascination with '70s disco, times was an exhilarating blend of funk, French house, pop, and electro designed to be danced to with abandon in crowded clubs and at sold-out shows. Then, the global pandemic hit. “At first, [releasing this music during a pandemic] scared me, but then there was a shift in perspective,” the Maidenhead producer, DJ, singer, and multi-instrumentalist tells Apple Music. Following in the footsteps of Dua Lipa (whose 2020 single “Hallucinate” Lewis co-wrote), Róisín Murphy, Jessie Ware, and Kylie Minogue, Lewis leaned into disco’s power to provide a world in quarantine with some much-needed escapism. But as Lewis finished the 10 tracks here—which feature artists including Robyn, Nile Rodgers, and N.E.R.D’s Chad Hugo—from his parents’ Berkshire home during the UK’s first 2020 lockdown, something else began to take hold. “The central message that emerged was that time is a finite resource,” says Lewis, who finished times in June 2020. “The moments I’ve experienced and shared with people in clubs or festivals are really sacred. When we are given the opportunity, we have to make the most of those moments and celebrate them to the best of our ability.” Read on as Lewis guides us through his joyous debut, one song at a time. Time [SG Lewis & Rhye] “This song felt like the perfect place to start, because it encapsulates what the album is about. It’s a reminder of the urgency to experience the present moment. It’s such an evocative song to me—it feels like the sun setting in California. I wrote all the melodies at [Canadian artist] Rhye’s house, pre-pandemic. We took a walk and watched the sunset over Topanga Canyon, then went back to the studio and finished the song. It was kind of perfect.” Feed the Fire [SG Lewis & Lucky Daye] “I wrote the instrumental to this song on the same day as we worked on ‘Hallucinate’ when I was in the studio by myself. I kept coming back to it and then went to LA to write the lyrics with [US artist] Lucky Daye. The song is about the tension between two people in the setting of a club. Is it going to happen, is it not going to happen?” Back to Earth “So much of the album is about rushing euphoria and joy. ‘Back to Earth’ is like a deep breath in the middle of that—a moment of sobriety amid all that heightened madness. It has a slightly more introspective and nostalgic feeling to it. Not every moment in a club is always full throttle.” One More [SG Lewis & Nile Rodgers] “This was the first song written for the record, and it was written in a very different world. It quite literally wouldn’t exist without Nile Rodgers. His influence and the way that the bass guitar is played are all Chic moves. When you get in the studio with him, he has such an ear for things that feel joyous and celebratory. This song is about the potential of a relationship with someone that you meet on a night out. I think that potential can often be more exciting than the reality of something.” Heartbreak on the Dancefloor [SG Lewis & Frances] “At this point on the album, I wanted to reflect a slightly different emotion. I wanted to include a track that reflected on some of the different emotions that you feel [on the dance floor]. [UK artist and songwriter] Frances sings on this track, who also sung on [Lewis’ debut single] ‘Warm’ and [his 2018 track] ‘Sunsets.’ At this point, she’s like a musical sister of mine and it felt important that she was part of this record. Some songs are going to come out fully formed and polished, and this was one of them.” Rosner's Interlude “I wanted this to serve as a shift, but I also wanted to use an interview I did with Alex Rosner [the legendary sound engineer who pioneered sound systems in disco clubs in '70s New York], whose voice I also sample at the start of ‘Time.’ He's lived this amazing life: He’s a Holocaust survivor, he designed the first DJ mixer, and then he did the sound system in a lot of the first disco clubs. We did an hour-long interview at the start of the 2020 lockdown over FaceTime, and I just thought it was a perfect palate cleanser before we go into ‘Chemicals.’” Chemicals “The three tracks from here have a kind of heady euphoria and a darker sound. The song is about the things you'll do when you're infatuated with someone and following them into craziness. I was working with [US producer] Julian Bunetta, and the day after we made this song, we were working with Chad Hugo. We played the song and he pulled out a synth and wrote a line for this out of thin air.” Impact [SG Lewis, Robyn & Channel Tres] “This is probably the sweatiest song on the album. It’s very intense. [US artist and producer] Channel Tres and Robyn in itself is a really unique combination and one that might not have necessarily been obvious on paper. I had the instrumental to the track and I played it to Channel, who had just come off tour with Robyn, so suggested we send it to her. We worked on a lot of this song during lockdown, and in the last chorus Robyn says, ‘When we're out the other side, we're going to let it fly, and that's enough for now.’” All We Have “This is really the climax of a night out. It's the most clubby and the most purely euphoric on the record. The track features [Australian electronic pop band] Lastlings, who have such an amazing introspective emotional sound to the way they approach electronic music and dance music. Amy [Dowdle of Lastlings] had written this hook that said, ‘All we have is now.’ ‘Time’ opened the record with this sentiment of ‘don't waste this time,’ and this track sort of ring-fenced the same feeling. It felt like a really good place in the record to reiterate that statement and intention. It’s a reminder to myself.” Fall “I wanted ‘Fall’ to be like a big exhale after the euphoria and the heights of the album, and the song has an afterglow feeling to it. Lyrically, it’s about how, on a romantic level in our current age, we're conditioned to always think that something better is coming round the corner. This song is recognizing that maybe that thing isn't coming, that the best thing we might have is something we already have, or have already had, and just to value the relationships in your life. Because there's no point in wasting your life hoping and wishing for better.”

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