Where To Start With... Avicii
The release of a new album should be a joyous occasion. A body of work seeing the light of day after months and months of work. In the face of pressure from so many sources, each of them demanding instant gratification, it’s a format that artists still adore.
Sadly, today sees the release of an album that comes tinged with an awful lot of sadness.
Tim Bergling, better known to all of you as Avicii, died tragically last year, taking his own life at the age of 28. In his short career, Bergling had conquered dance music and become a household name in the process.
At the height of his powers, he was making more $250,000 for a single DJ set and selling millions of record in every territory he touched. He collaborated with the likes of Coldplay, Rita Ora and Aloe Blacc and headlined festivals all over the world.
During his career, he released two studio albums, 2013’s True and 2015’s Stories. He was thought to be hard at work on a follow-up at the time of his tragic death.
The work he did on the album has been completed by many of the DJ’s friends and collaborators, with Carl Falk, who worked with throughout his career, taking a key role. The result is a new album, simply named Tim. It features 16 tracks, collaborations with Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Aloe Blacc, Imagine Dragons and Noonie Bao, and, it arrives in hmv stores today (June 6th).
To celebrate the release of the album, we thought we’d offer up five particular highlights of a career was tragically cut short...
Released under the name Tim Berg, this was the DJ's breakout track. It first emerged in April of 2010 as a sunny, uplifting instrumental and was such a hit on dancefloors that Bergling re-recorded it with the help of British singer Amanda Wilson. Reminiscent of Mylo's sun-soaked groove, the track still brings a smile to your face to this day.
'Seek Bromance' got people's attention, but 'Levels' was his first bonafide hit. A bouncy instrumental with an Etta James sample, it quickly became a staple of high-street bars, spin classes and people's homes, with sales of over three million. It was given a second life too when rapper Flo Rida made it the basis of his 2011 hit 'Good Feeling'.
‘Wake Me Up’
This is the DJ's biggest hit. It sold over 11 million copies and hit Number One everywhere from Austria to Venezuela. A fusion of Bergling's trademark glossy electronics with bluegrass, the track features vocals from Aloe Blacc and a catchy as you like guitar riff from Incubus man Mike Einzinger. Country and dance music aren't natural bedfellows, but they gave Avicii his biggest smash.
Bergling continued his fertile collaborations with country stars on the 2015 album Stories and a stand-out one is 'Broken Arrows', a track with vocals from US country heavyweight Chris Stapleton. Smashing together Stapleton's mournful vocals with a fizzy groove and earworm of a chorus. It's a strange proposition, but it works.
Bergling's legacy will be his ability to mix melancholy with massive grooves. That's particularly well summed up by 'Without You', a track with vocals from fellow Swede Sandro Cavazza. It sold handsomely, over two million in total and remains an absolute banger.
Avicii's new album Tim is out now in hmv stores.