While it clocks in at only around three and a half minutes, “Afterglow,” the new track from Air Dubai manages to pack in three entire songs’ worth of ideas into one. That’s par for the course for the Denver hybrid band, whose music regularly and effortlessly shuffles between hip hop, indie, and blissful electronic, for a result that sounds like a dreamy mix between Stars, The Cure and LL Cool J.
For the song, from their third full-length, Be Calm, out July 1 on Hopeless Records, the band have enlisted help from Dia Frampton (of “The Voice” and Meg & Dia fame), whose airy vocals on the swooning chorus provide a stark contrast to Julian Thomas’ rapping and Jon Shockness’ singing. “Afterglow” bounces along on an acoustic guitar line under Thomas’ verses, transforming into a powerfully sung third section that sounds perfectly suited for an uplifting trance house banger, in case any enterprising remixers out there are reading this.
“It’s a good primer for the type of all-encompassing material on Be Calm,” Thomas says. “For us ‘Afterglow’ was essentially the icing on the cake for our album. It was the last song we wrote for it. I think it very accurately represents the musical evolution of our band — from where our sound was to where it’s headed.”