During the last year, while we were all Zooming away at our work lives and adjusting our social lives to the new 24-hours-a-day-at-home pandemic routine, Dillon Francis was creating. He has produced the new full-length album Happy Machine and it is the feel-good, upbeat bounce house-infused songs that we all need right now.
The new album kicks off with the single “Reaching Out”, featuring Bow Anderson.
With the first song, Francis reminds us that we need each other despite the barriers that the world has put in place. The standout song sets the mood for the album, as Anderson’s soulful pop voice sings, “My love is enough for the two of us // And, I’m reaching out for ya.” The single is accompanied by a strangely comforting video, where Francis dances with a partner in, what appears to be, the Hollywood hill, wearing a furry cat mask and bunny mask. The surreal video takes a familiar twist at the appearance of a Tellytubby sun.
The fun continues through the full album. It is pure dance music, with pop-leaning sensibilities backed by an ongoing house beat. The songwriters are also well-known industry writers, who standout against emerging U.S. artists. Between the two, Francis has created a combination that just keeps delivering throughout the eight-track release. Like all good albums, the main theme is Love, whether it is unconditional, unwanted, sought after or the act of making some, tied by a fat, bouncy bassy house beat that adds to the groove and excitement of each song.
Francis continues to bring dance music into the new century.
Throughout the album, Dillon Francis brings forward a classic house vibe — a theme most prominent on “Over This”. With Hayley May’s dance vocals, the song drives its 4/4 beat, which is shadowed by synths that give into the drop. And, with “Colors”, the groove continues, with Liza Owens’ vocals creating a dreamy falsetto-driven song.
One of the major releases from the album was the more contemporary house song “Real Love”, featuring Turkish pop star Aleyna Tilki. Released with a music video, “Real Love” shows two lovers torn apart when a woman leaves to join Francis’ military. Dillon Francis says of the video release, “This is such a special record in many ways. The journey ‘Real Love’ took sonically is really at the center of the whole Happy Machine process. There was collaboration across many countries and many amazing people. From Alida to Tourist to Aleyna, this record took a long time to turn into the absolute banger it is now. And, that fully happened when Aleyna got on it, which is what makes this song so special now and when you see the video… wow, you’re gonna love this one!”
Collaborations galore on the new album continue with “Love Me Better”, featuring Shift K3Y and Marc. E. Bassy.
It is simply a feel good song. And, ending with “Unconditional”, another single released with a video and has two remixes thus far — one by Sidekick and one by Franklin. In the video, a Boomer-looking Dillon Francis surprises everyone at the skate park by jumping the ramp, smoking a blunt, boozing in the alley, engaging in full-standing flips to ending up in the front row of his own concert.
Happy Machine has cemented Dillon Francis as a force in the industry, as the new album has shown how versatile he can be. From his work with global bass to major EDM stylings and now zoning in on a house and dance vibe, his versatility is why we love him so much. His music reminds us that, despite where we are in the world, we will always be one on the dance floor and good music moves us all in the best ways.
Purchase or stream ‘Happy Machine’ album:
- Reaching Out, feat. Bow Anderson
- Real Love, feat. Aleyna Tilki
- Over This, feat. Hayley May
- Colors, feaat. Liza Owen
- Love Me Better, feat. Shift K3Y & Marc E. Bassy
- In Case I Fall Asleep, feat. GRACEY
- Bad, feat. Gina Kushka
- Unconditional, feat. 220 KID & Bryn Christopher
Dillon Francis – “Real Love” ft. Aleyna Tilki
Disclaimer: All views presented in this album review are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Top Shelf Music.