This latest release from Hooks By: DJ floats through, once again, completely left of whatever you may have come to expect from the songwriter and producer.
Leading with a classically smooth and hopeful pop backdrop, a creatively meandering synth riff but one that feels notably more complex than the average pop offering, along with a light beat and a quickly emotional, compelling vocal, The Hearts Got Memory shines brightly as a retro pop classic with passion and intention.
Nostalgia often plays a part in DJ’s work – subtly, for sure, but it’s there – speaking volumes on behalf of musical knowledge and experience. In this case, the song feels extensively like a slept-on classic from a simpler time. The set-up is so minimalist and simple that it lays bare the genuine heart and soul of that leading voice.
In addition, the melody and the build-up to the hook – that long-form line that ultimately lingers with you after listening – this moment kicks in with an almost pop-punk level of energy and volume. It’s a quietly expressive voice, but is by no means weak – the singer more than carries the necessary sentiments and weight along in a manner that keeps you involved and focused on the story-line.
These are all qualities that work well. DJ has arranged the track in a humble and relevant manner – relevant to its own artistic purpose, and relevant to a room full of music fans who revel in the simple emotion and meaning of a song and soundscape with clear humanity and colour.
Being that this release is free from DJ’s own voice, the production style and impressive melodic development are the main features to recognize his work by. Meanwhile, the now-familiar tone of Danielle Hollobaugh makes for an additional flicker of familiarity, and with this particular release her voice sounds decidedly beautiful and perfectly in keeping with the mood of the song.