Your kandi is garish, the champagne is spoiled with sparkler soot, and main stage EDM is losing its luster. It’s time for dance music to embrace its darker side, and Los Angeles-based producer Away wants to help you see the shadowy light.
“I don’t hate happy music, but I do feel like there’s something untruthful about happy music in today’s time,” he says. “You can uplift people and help people ignore their situation, but I feel like there needs to be more music out there that reflects what’s going on.”
Away was raised at the intersection of rebellious rock ‘n roll and experimental electronica. His teenage idols were Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke, and Marilyn Manson, artists who pushed the boundaries of sound and blurred the lines between counter and popular culture. He grew up playing guitar in bands but had a vision of autonomy at 16. He went to his first rave and realized one guy could make a wall of sound on his own.
He found further inspiration in the blog house movement of the late 2000s when artists like Justice and Boys Noize fused electro with punk rock’s heavier vibes and unruly ethos.
“That was the time when everybody actually wanted to sound different from each other,” he remembers, “and then this whole new era of dance music came in. I don’t know if it was sample packs or YouTube, but all these younger kids just started producing and it saturated everything. Instead of it being ‘how can I sound different from these other 10 artists,’ now it’s ‘how can I make this exact sounding song that these other people just made.’”
Away hopes to separate himself from the pack by focusing on those artists who first inspired him to get into the game, the ones who refuse to limit themselves to any one genre, speed, style, or sonic palette.
He cut his teeth as a remixer, infusing his smoky sound into tracks that align with his aesthetic. There’s a touch of meloncholy to the melody or the lyrics, something Away wants to make central to his original work; themes of love, sex, drugs, and partying taken with a more honest approach.
His latest remix flips Michigan singer-songwriter BØRNS’ already gritty love song “American Money,” from the LP Dopamine, into something even more haunting. It’s the perfect addition to Away’s growing catalogue, full of sinister synths and the hint of breaking glass. It hits digital shelves Friday, Sept. 9, but you can hear it on Billboard Dance below, as well as check out BØRNS’ upcoming tour dates.
BØRNS Tour Dates tickets available online
SEP 8 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion ^
SEP 9 Philadelphia, PA The Mann ^
SEP 10 Columbia, MD Merriweather Post Pavilion ^
SEP 13 Charlottesville, VA Sprint Pavillion ^
SEP 15 Cary, NC Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheater ^
SEP 16 Richmond, VA Classic Amphitheater ^
SEP 17 Charleston, SC Volvo Cars Stadium ^
SEP 20 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater ^
SEP 22 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater ^
SEP 29 Del Valle, TX Austin 360 Amphitheater ^
SEP 30 Oklahoma City, OK Zoo Ampitheatre ^
OCT 1 Rogers, AR Walmart AMP ^
OCT 2 Flushing, NY The Meadows Music Festival
OCT 4 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre ^
OCT 5 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Bowl ^
OCT 6 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre ^
OCT 7 Berkeley, CA Greek Theatre ^
NOV 12 Santa Ana, CA Outpost Fest
^ = w/ The Lumineers