LA-based singer-songwriter Robert DeLong’s breakout single “Global Concepts” contains a prophetic and telling refrain, “Did I leave my life to chance? Or did I make you fucking dance?” before the song nosedives into steel electronic cuts and tremulous percussion. The track stems from the motherboard of synth-pop that is Delong’s debut album Just Movement, a collection of songs that plays like the futuristic and melodic transmissions from an otherworldly civilization. And DeLong stands as the liaison between planet Earth and these aliens, wielding keyboards, his musically-programmed Wii remotes, and his indie-rock styled vocals as his instruments of contact. You don’t listen to Just Movement, you submit to its pulsating beats and mind-boggling lyrics. The album itself is humbly named, as it stands at the centerpiece of the continuously warping brand of music that is EDM. It isn’t just movement, it’s a clear focal point in the genre’s murky and uncertain future. But that wouldn’t be quite as impressive of a debut title, so let’s move on to what’s inside of the debut.
Cryptic lines and subliminal messages intertwine amongst the trance-inducing production and hollow emotion, where DeLong moves fluidly from addressing his audience as a teacher to speaking himself as a student. These life lessons of which he lectures (and experiences in real time) are chopped and scattered throughout the entirety of Just Movement, which results in almost every track containing some sort of thought-provoking (and sometimes confusing) message. But luckily, there’s a lightly coated but distinguishable pop mentality to every song, which allows the listener to focus on the hooks and move their hips when they’re too tired to ponder. Mysterious themes aside, every song on the album is easily accessible and danceable, and most are standout examples of progressive electronic music (check “Happy” and “Perfect”). Listen to the album on Spotify below!