Wayward are a production pairing from London, who until recently were best known for their releases on Blackbutter and frequent features on the “dance music starter pack” Youtube channels of Eton Messy, Majestic Casual, and SubSoul. While at the time this spawned radio support from several Radio 1 DJs, as well as the opportunity to remix pop stars such as John Newman and Basement Jaxx, it seemed until recently that the duo had fallen off the map.
However, today’s track is a slice from the latest of their 2 EPs on Bestival founder Rob Da Bank’s left-field house label Silverback Recordings. Not only has the release of their Orissa EP, and the upcoming Alexandra EP, announced their return to production, but marked a reinvention of sorts. Wayward have chosen to ditch the cut up R&B vocals from 2013, alongside overtures toward the charts and radio play, for a more profound sound, that is in part influenced by their world travels.
The title track is supposedly named after a friend whose party they spurned in order to work in the studio. “Alexandra”, a nighttime fusion of tasteful acid and captivating vocals, is the product of that evening stint. Although at times one can see influences in the space-like atmosphere they construct from the likes of O’Flynn’s “Desmond’s Empire”, percussion takes a back seat to allow other sections to bloom. Central to the track is an enveloping acid top line which drifts in, which alongside mournful, almost wailing vocals, meander their way to a well executed breakdown.
Whilst this is no doubt a song that captures the hedonistic desire to lose oneself in the moment, it retains a substantial kick, with the acid line buzzing back in with just enough fervour without threatening to overpower the track. With the Man Power remix already seeing support from Dixon, a DJ who has the knack of seemingly always being at the forefront of more avant-garde dance sounds, Wayward look to have successfully repositioned themselves thanks to a more mature, cultured sound, that has in turn won them new fans.
Wayward’s Alexandra EP drops tomorrow, 8th September.