Kygo (born Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll in Bergen, Norway) broke through with a sound termed "tropical house" that tended to be brighter and more relaxed than that of his commercial dance music contemporaries. In 2013, the Avicii-inspired producer and DJ reached number one on Norway's VG-lista chart with his slow-galloping remix of Seinabo Sey's "Younger." He gained additional attention through remixes of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing" and Ed Sheeran's "I See Fire." Signed to an international deal with Sony that placed him on RCA in the U.S. and on Syco in the U.K., he released his first proper single, "Firestone," in 2014. Featuring a lead vocal from Conrad Sewell, the song not only went to number one in Norway but reached the Top Ten in several other territories. The following year, the Parson James collaboration "Stole the Show" was Kygo's second consecutive solo number one hit in Norway. Later that year, "Nothing Left," featuring Will Heard, became his third Norwegian chart-topper. These hits, along with additional singles that featured Labrinth, Kodaline, and James Vincent McMorrow, preceded his debut full-length LP Cloud Nine, which was released in May 2016 and quickly went to number one in Norway. That month, two tracks he produced with Stargate appeared on Fifth Harmony's 7/27. In February 2017, Kygo released "It Ain't Me," a collaboration with American singer Selena Gomez which reached number ten on the Billboard pop chart. "First Time," another collaboration, this time with British singer Ellie Goulding, quickly followed. ~ Andy Kellman
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Dance - Released May 13, 2016 | Kygo
Foregoing the big drops and unrelenting hammer beats of festival EDM on his debut album Cloud Nine, Norwegian pianist and producer Kygo (born Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll) crafted relaxed, melodic pop-hook house aimed at secluded beaches, nocturnal haunts, and even romantic rendezvous. Boasting a full roster of guest vocalists, Cloud Nine is music for the lounge, not the club, and the soundtrack to the post-party comedown. As the title suggests, this collection is pleasurable and light, lifting listeners to that eponymous place in the heavens. From the sparkling "Intro" to the plaintive closer "For What It's Worth," Cloud Nine is a cohesive journey where each song melts into the next along the connective thread that is Kygo's celestial piano tinkling. The high points of the album are subtle nods to Kygo's big influence, Avicii, that combine folksy guitars atop thumping dance beats. "Fiction" features British singer/songwriter Tom Odell and sounds like Arcade Fire's Win Butler guesting on a track by that aforementioned Swede. Irish band Kodaline lend their acoustic guitar strumming to the James Bay-penned "Raging." Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow contributes a fragile falsetto to the arena-ready "I'm in Love." Elsewhere, juicier jams add some soul to Cloud Nine, like on Parson James' tropical house "Stole the Show," Will Heard's sensual "Nothing Left," and Maty Noyes' pulsing "Stay." Stand-out centerpiece "Oasis" features British pop singer Foxes on a Sia-penned epic that incorporates a string section and the best Chris Martin piano melody this side of "A Sky Full of Stars." It's also one of the few truly energetic moments on Cloud Nine. To that end, some stretches of the album may be a little too sleepy and subdued, with songs bleeding together in a hypnotic haze. Nonetheless, refreshingly void of aggression or any deliberate tension, Cloud Nine comforts with its positivity and charm. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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