Sheens: Hey You
KizzKizz Rec.

Having listened to its first song “Hey You,” one might be surprised to learn that Sheens isn't a UK or US outfit but rather an Eastern European band (Alexey Belous, Alexey Plaksiuk, Artem Fedotov, Alexandr Konotopets, and Phil Fatekhov) who've promised that Russian and Ukrainian songs will appear on their first and future albums as opposed to English ones only. The song itself is a suitably shiny gem, a frothy three minutes of vocal electropop delivered with no small amount of breezy effervescence. A seeming paean to youth and all the hope and promise that comes with it (“Can you see the sun is gonna tease us a wonderful sunrise / I bet today is the best moment ever supposed to be given”), the song lyrically plays like a bit of a wake-up call, an advert for exchanging the safety of insularity for the risk of genuine contact (“Why do you sleep alone, when you have one thousand likes?”).

The remix EP is a generous, thirty-nine-minute set featuring six versions by COMON, Heinrich Matis & Jules Heffner, Mess Me, Sugarstarr, Talul, and Thomas Schwartz & Fausto Fanizza. The essence of the song remains in all cases, though the remixers naturally twist the material into slightly different shapes, even if most are thoroughly club-focused. Funking up the original with a heaving, bass-prodded groove, Matis and Heffner largely collapse its pop song structure to re-envision it as an atmospheric club track, while COMON energizes the original with a catchy club strut whose infectious spirit is hard to deny. In addition, Sugarstarr's opts for a jacking funk treatment (with a bit of house sprinkled in for good measure), Talul serves up a haunting late-night (early-morning, if you prefer) version that's sweetened by a delicious bass pulse, and Schwartz and Fanizza craft a thrumming trance-house dynamo from Sheens' material. They're all credible mixes for sure, but to these ears it's Talul's that stands out the most for being so elegant and understated.

January 2014