Aluna, of AlunaGeorge, is having a solo moment.
The 32-year-old singer-songwriter, and one-half of the electronic duo that’s given us everything from “You Know You Like It” (which went massively popular with DJ Snake years later) to “White Noise” with Disclosure to “I’m in Control” over the past decade, has been supplying a string of solo songs in the past few months after inking a solo deal with Mad Decent.
Ahead of the release of her debut solo album Renaissance, which is out on Friday (August 28), Aluna dropped her latest single, “Envious” – and it might just be my favorite of the bunch yet.
“Don’t make me envious / You know I’m cruel when I see red, and I’m losing my head…”
The Philip von Boch Scully co-produced dance floor stomper is as catchy as it is vulnerable; a desperate plea not to play with the envy-afflicted’s heart.
“People think I’m strong / And there ain’t nothing wrong with that, except when I get mad / Except when I get sad,” she admits across an irresistibly slick disco bassline, fitting in nicely with this year’s “we’re going disco, since we can’t go to the disco” vibe. (Talk about envy.)
“I think people really need this song right now because I believe it’s my best ‘cry dance’ song; a style I coined to describe that exquisite feeling when all your emotions are released while dancing so you cry at the same time. I feel like in these times people need that at least once a day!” Aluna says of the song. To be fair: if you’re not cry-dancing constantly in quarantine, what even are you doing?
Speaking of dancing, Aluna also opened up about her own experience within the dance music world, while providing a serious reality check regarding the origins of the movement, which then informed her solo outing: “In the past when performing on the stages of my white male peers, I always felt like a visitor being one of the few Black women I could see, so it never fully occurred to me to claim dance music as my music, as an artist, even though it was at the heart of my connection to music,” she said.
“Then I looked at the history of dance music and saw how, for example, Chicago House, known as the invention of house music, was pioneered in the Black and Latino LGTBQ+ communities which gave me inspiration to stake my flag in the ground as a Black woman in dance music by taking control of production and songwriting with my own vibe.”
“Envious” also comes with a music video full of gorgeous natural imagery and ample choreography, which was directed by Hamadou Frederic Balde.
Aluna herself offers several striking looks throughout, including her regal opening scene: “This look was all about a culture clash of royalty. Growing up in England as a black girl I aspired to both African and British royalty – the glamour was irresistible. In reality those two cultures are very separate but I wanted to pull them together on my body the way they are pulled together in my experience,” Aluna says.
In this New Normal, it’s important to stay grounded and grateful for what we’ve got in this present moment. But with so many consistently solid dance floor offerings coming out this year by so many favorites, it’s hard not to feel a little bit, well…envious of our own club and festival-going memories. One day! Until then, we keep cry dancing on our own at home.
Renaissance is out on August 28, and will be released on black vinyl.
This song is featured on the MuuTunes Spotify playlist.
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