Earlier today, Oakland duo Smoakland exclusively premiered the first single from its upcoming Cinderella 99 EP, "Open Up." While the producers have made stark sonic impressions with their "dirty bass" style, this new offering showcases their ability to tap into a wider range of electronic palettes.
Smoakland began as a West Coast bass music project back in 2018. With over seven collective years of production under their belts, they strive to bring a new and refreshing sound while keeping the nostalgic “old school” vibes of early dubstep. This year, the duo have seen a surge in their recognition and popularity. They performed at marquee digital events, recently booked four sold-out shows at Colorado's The Black Box, and traveled to Alabama to provide support at both dates of Mersiv's Lunar Drive In Tour.
Tomorrow, Smoakland debuts its latest EP, Cinderella 99, an ode to a marijuana strain the two once shared while planning their careers. Symbolically, it represents the duo coming full circle on their dreams.
"Open Up" begins with a sonic nod to contemporary legends Zeds Dead; rangy synths and wistful vocals ring out and create a dreamy soundscape. Languid drum kicks help add to the slow-moving energy early on, but things start escalating at the one-minute mark. After the vocal hook, "baby open up to me," at 1:20, we're introduced to the first drop, a pulsating, magnetic bassline that warps around the vocals and synths. While it possesses their patented energy, the track packs far more emotion than past Smoakland works.
"Open Up is a much more emotional, in-your-feels type song than what we usually write," said Smoakland, who caught up with EDM.com prior to the track premiere. "We just wanted to show an aspect to our music writing that some people weren’t used to yet. We truly want to be able to do it all and open up our range."