Disco has made quite the resurgence in the past two years. Though Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories picked up the torch for the genre in 2013, it did not cross back into popular production until Lorde’s Melodrama or Tove Lo’s BLUE LIPS. Since those records (and surely many more that I’m unaware of), disco has slowly continued to influence or be incorporated in bigger and bigger songs. While Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus made a valiant attempt at a country hybrid with last year’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” the former goes full discotheque on the Lykke Li-featuring “Late Night Feelings,” the title track from his upcoming album.
With a sparse beat, Li starts the track with the kind of despondent lyrics listeners have come to know her for, consumed by the silence we often feel in our darkness moments. As the song reaches the pre-chorus, Ronson’s production and Li’s melody open up significantly, developing into a understated dance groove that conjures both elation and melancholia. Even with this brighter sound, the writing continues in its depressed path of destruction, where the singer calls herself “psychotic,” lusts after the wrong people, and resists the urge to call a former lover, among a multitude of other ugly things. As “Late Night Feelings” tapers off, it allows for a beautiful contrast — as most disco records are — one that allows the duo to lean into the sadder parts of the genre/their feelings without sacrificing the bounciness of the music.