REVIEW: SG Lewis - times

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

It’s been almost a year since nightclubs shut their doors, and in the time since then dancefloor lovers have had to find alternative places to get their fix. ‘times’ takes us to that carefree place that we’ve been longing for this past year.

Since the resurgence of disco in late 2019, it’s become a staple in most artists recent releases yet ‘times’ never feels reductive. Lewis manages to create a refreshing 10 track record filled with precision and groove. With features from legends such as Nile Rodgers and pop icons like Robyn, there’s definitely a clear direction of the record, and it’s to the dancefloor.

cc - PMR/Virgin EMI Records

SG Lewis – better known as Sam – has been churning out bangers since 2015, yet his identity in the industry remains unknown. With five EPs under his belt and production credits with Britain’s biggest stars like Dave and Dua Lipa, his debut album has been a long time coming.

One of the most exciting things about ‘times” is that the production is front and centre, and the vocals soar around it. With Lewis being both a producer and vocalist, he has the freedom to truly explore sonically. His vocals on ‘One More’ and ‘Chemicals’ prove he’s more than capable of fronting great bangers, whereas tracks like ‘Impact’ show he can still shine from the backseat.

The thumping bass of ‘One More’ under the collection of guitar strings really do provide an album highlight, and the help of Nile Rodgers helps elevate the track to a gold standard. ‘So, we’ll go out to the balcony, light ourselves a smoke. Start talking to people that we don’t even know’ he sings over a burst of synths which takes us back to the feeling being present in a nightclub, making us nostalgic of the little details we reminisce of.

There’s a definite influence and homage on ‘Time’ to the great house tracks of from nineties such as Stardust’s ‘Music Sounds Better With You’. The manipulation of Frances’ vocals on ‘Heartbreak On The Dancefloor’ intertwined with the vocoder is another moment which highlights Lewis’ attention to detail.

It’s a rare find for a recent album to have the majority of songs over the four-minute mark, yet on ‘times’ 7/10 are feature length cuts that only further accentuate the nostalgic element of when songs weren’t snippets made to boost streams.

‘times’ is a record which doesn’t have to stray into any new or ground-breaking territory to showcase the artistry behind it. There isn’t a huge punch behind times, but there doesn’t have to be. It’s a light, chilled trip to the disco.

‘Fall’ – the closing track – is a chilling question on if falling in love again is a possibility. Whilst it does take the record to a melancholic close, it showcases Lewis’ versatility beautifully and provides some vulnerability laced over light synths and a vocoder. It’s arguably an album highlight, proving good things do come to those who wait.

times is available to stream on all streaming services now.