Oliver Heldens had a pretty awesome year in 2015. Piloted by the March 2015 release of "Melody", a haunting symphonic house track that sent clubgoers into a royal tizzy, and subsequently followed by the drop of "Bunnydance" and "Wombass", his collaboration with dance music mainstay Tiësto, Heldens has definitely made himself known as one of the top house producers of the year. But his most exciting work, arguably, was his collaboration with Canadian musicians/songwriters Shaun Frank and Delaney Jane to create what I consider to be one of the more memorable house tracks of the year with "Shades of Grey". Not to be confused with any similarly-titled erotic novels and films, of course.
One flavour, the Original Mix, is all it takes. Although the introduction is very typical, Delaney Jane's relaxed subtle vocals take over and overwhelm among a stream of plucks, pads, and snaps. Once the main instrumental chorus hits, retro-flanged stabs glide over the bassline, which is unmistakably the work of Oliver Heldens, bobbing about with the bubbly funk-laden rhythm one can typically expect from one of his works, to create one of the more danceable moments I've experienced this year. I'm not quite as familiar with Shaun Frank, as he hasn't been as in my face courtesy of Spinnin' Records, but I'd wager he added some of the more trance-injected elements that help balance out the track.
I can't go without mentioning the slightly unusual music video as well. Shaun has broken up with his girlfriend and is looking for new ways to find love, but no matter where he goes, he is always outshone by Oliver Heldens, who shows up in some crazy animal costume. The women all swoon for him, and Shaun is left in the dust. Even while DJing in the club, Oliver's twisty dance moves cause all eyes to fall on him, while some goofball decides that Shaun's not even good enough to play music off an external hard drive. It isn't until Shaun finds a discarded giant panda head to don that he gets noticed, and eventually finds Delaney, the pretty blonde. Moral of the story: if you want to get a girlfriend, dress as a frog man.
All in all, a pretty decent house track — definitely among the best heard in 2015. The combination of Heldens' grooves, Frank's songwriting, and Delaney Jane's cute smooth vocals have collided to create a track that will stick in your head all day. And you'll want it that way.