Van Norden is a transplant to the Los Angeles area from Vancouver, Canada and is well-known in the acoustic folk genre. As a songwriter, he has released both solo and group work in folk, so his foray into EDM with his first single, “Love at First Sight” seems quite surprising. This new take on EDM was released as part of an EP called At First Sight in October. While EDM may seem like a departure for Van Norden, his style is still recognizable on At First Sight.
“Love at First Sight” has three separate mixes on the EP, available on Van Norden’s Bandcamp page, including a remix he did as a collaboration with fellow producer An_Hero. There is also a radio edit available on Van Norden’s Soundcloud page. All the different mixes show Van Norden’s delight in the versatility of electronic music to take many different forms on one single or concept. The original mix of “Love at First Sight” is highly emotive and shows Van Norden’s folk background in its composition. The way the track is put together is a standard folk or rock structure, and though it is all EDM, “Love at First Sight” is very melodic and pretty for such a track. Natalie Major is the vocalist on the piece and she bridges the gap quite nicely as her voice is melodic but has the weight and edge required for a good deep house track.
The “subliminal remix” of “Love at First Sight” which Van Norden created with An_Hero is more tribal and contains more syncopation than the original. The vocals cut up quite a bit and it seems as though this mix was created for a club atmosphere because it doesn’t have Van Norden’s A-B-A structure. There is a more distinctive deep house beat on this mix as well, but the original seems a little more cohesive.
Van Norden’s entre into the EDM world has thus far been well-received. “Love at First Sight” sets the bar very high for what Van Norden wants to create the future, but it seems he is up to the challenge. As he continues to explore the almost limitless potential of electronic music, he will no doubt create more interesting pieces and collaborate with more artists.