Whether the three years since Craig Connelly album-debuted with One Second Closer feels long or brief is almost academic.
While the album has received over 8 million Spotify streams, for Craig, the duration provided the ultimate in transformative phases, seeing him punch up from promising name to major contender. And, with the arenas and festivals getting bigger and his music drawing evermore DJ air & set time, expectations are now greater.
Enter, A Sharper Edge – Craig’s unlike-any-other approach to making an album.
At the core of its production lies something that is the result of Craig’s introspection and soul searching. While other artists root their album biases in the instrumental or the vocal, or a particular stylistic bandwidth, Craig composed his down four very specific thematic lines.
“I wanted to try a non-traditional approach to this album, says the Manchester born-and-based DJ, and I thought a little pre-production mental exercise might give me some insight. So before ‘A Sharper Edge’s day-one, I crunched what seemed important in my life and more and more four words kept popping back. So when I sat down to compose each track, I tried to bring one of the four – Destiny, Energy, Travel or Optimism to my foreground and subsequently channel it into that piece of music. Whilst all the tracks represent a more radio or club focused sound, every one was designed to have its own story – regardless of whether it has lyrics or not. Even the instrumentals were written with the intention of being anchored in a strong human emotion or feeling.“
A Sharper Edge breaks down evenly into seven vocals and seven instrumentals. This is not by design rather Craig’s innate process. While never absolute, the tracks’ titles offer prime indicators of which theme drove them.
Song likes California and Tranceatlantic are amongst those that have their mental foundations in Travel, while Earth Dimension C-137 and current single Time Machine similarly channel it. Destiny is most clearly touched on with Life Half Lived (spiritually sung by Karina Ramage) and Cammie Robinson’s wondrously carefree turn on Run Away. The album’s overture Sonic Grey and the bassy judder of Everyone Loves A Triplet meanwhile address it in more opaque fashions.
Read more about Craig Connelly’s single Time Machine here.
There are no prizes for surmising that Craig’s exercising his Energy id on Watch The Way You Move, The Fire and Anything Like You. The tracks respectively feature vocal and co-production collaborations with Natalie Major, Peter Steele and Alex Holmes.
The album is at its most Optimism-driven on What Are You Waiting For, Inhale (alongside Will Rees) and with the Siskin (Sue McLaren & Susan Chesterton new vocal sisterhood) sung All For Love.
Concludes Craig: “this album is the biggest and most rewarding body of music I’ve ever produced, I’ve never felt as satisfied with any project as I do with this one. I would love for my fans to walk away from this record with a sense they just heard something which resonated with their life experiences, and they can feel optimistic about the future.”
Craig Connelly’s A Sharper Edge – the 200th major album release from Dutch label powerhouse Black Hole Recordings – is released on May 15th, 2020.
You can pre-order/save here.
Craig Connelly – A Sharper Edge
01. Craig Connelly – Sonic Grey
02. Craig Connelly featuring Tara Louise – Time Machine
03. Craig Connelly – California
04. Craig Connelly featuring Karina Ramage – Life Half Lived
05. Craig Connelly – Earth Dimension C-137
06. Craig Connelly featuring Natalie Major – Watch The Way You Move
07. Craig Connelly – Everyone Loves A Triplet
08. Craig Connelly featuring Tara Louise – What Are You Waiting For
09. Craig Connelly & Peter Steele – The Fire
10. Craig Connelly featuring Alex Holmes – Anything Like You
11. Craig Connelly & Factor B – Tranceatlantic
12. Craig Connelly & Siskin – All For Love
13. Craig Connelly & Will Rees – Inhale
14. Craig Connelly featuring Cammie Robinson – Run Away
Follow Craig Connelly: