ZHU enlists a powerhouse cast of collaborators on highly-anticipated third studio album, ‘DREAMLAND 2021’
Photo credit: Joey Vitalari.
Today, April 30, marks the long anticipated release of ZHU’s third studio album, DREAMLAND 2021. Back with his first full-length since 2018’s Ringo’s Desert, ZHU’s newest 12-track effort comes to light on Astralwerks.
While he recorded the album at home, lockdown didn’t prevent the Grammy-nominated artist from enlisting a vast cast of guests, including pristine pop singer Yuna, R&B experimentalist Tinashe, and sleek house producer Channel Tres, among others. With all these collaborators in tow, DREAMLAND 2021 feels like a manifestation of the communal feeling of the dancefloor, the warmth of a night dancing with your closest friends.
“You can’t generate the same kind of community and connection without other people,” says ZHU as he prepares to return to the stage with six sold-out DREAMROCKS shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado in May. “The lights, the music, the volume, the dancing. Electronic music is an experiential thing.”
Highlights from DREAMLAND 2021 include “Distant Lights,” which builds toward reckless, ecstatic abandon. In the final moments, ZHU murmurs a few lines that serve as something of a mission statement for the LP:
“I don’t believe that music, dancing, the freedom of expression will be suppressed for much longer. They can’t—that’s against human nature.”– ZHU
The tracks that follow build on this idea, in both the primal spirit of the instrumentals and the desperate yearning of the vocals, which come from ZHU and his collaborators. On “Yours” feat. Arctic Lake, ZHU’s pensive keyboards shift to a simmering rhythm as he trades vocals with the UK alt-pop artist Arctic Lake, evoking the uneasy tension between love in the moment and the aching for love everlasting.
From the elegant “Sky Is Crying” with Yuna to ZHU’s 2020 collaboration with Tinashe, “ONLY,” ZHU pulls out all the stops and doesn’t skimp on those signature late-night drive sonics that fans have come to know and love of the house maven. The Astralwerks favorite says the project is about looking forward and creating a version of the future we want to exist in.
Listen to DREAMLAND 2021 now.
ZHU – DREAMLAND 2021
DREAMLAND 2021 Tracklist:
- Lost It
- Distant Lights
- Blue Dream
- How Does It Feel (feat. Channel Tres)
- Sky Is Crying (feat. Yuna)
- Sweet Like Honey
- Yours (feat. Arctic Lake)
- ONLY (feat. Tinashe)
- Zhudio54 (feat. partywithray)
- Good4U (feat. Kota the Friend)
- I Need That
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