Dua Lipa‘s new song, “Houdini,” is out now via Warner UK.
Ever since her debut singles, Dua Lipa has consistently exuded a popstar aura. However, it was her phenomenal 2020 album, Future Nostalgia, that catapulted her to the status of a serious artist who transcends the boundaries of conventional pop. While she wasn’t the pioneer of the disco revival trend — Madonna‘s Confessions on a Dancefloor (2005) and many precede her — Dua, much like Kylie, ironically dropped her collection of cathartic and danceable bops during a time when clubs had been shut down and the world grappled with lockdown. Perhaps it was our collective yearning for warmth, solace, and glitter in those challenging times that propelled the album into the top five best-selling albums of the year. With hindsight, the timing was perhaps perfect.
Dua Lipa is now ushering in the DL3 era with the synth-illating “Houdini,” a fresh banger produced by Tame Impala‘s Kevin Parker and Danny L Harle. She co-wrote the track with Caroline Ailin and Tobias Jesso Jr. The press release refers to the whole team as the “essential collaborators” for the yet to be detailed album. Right from the get-go, with the thudding baseline intro and the visuals reminiscent of the “Hung Up” dance room, it’s clear that Dua is gearing up for a full-on performer mode in this new chapter — are more dance memes or even a TikTok mirror challenge in the making?
On “Houdini,” the unmistakable Parker and the larger-than-life Harle‘s psychedelic touches aren’t mere nuances; they permeate the bass and synths with brilliance. But despite these influences, Dua maintains her core formula: this isn’t a 180-degree turn akin to Gaga‘s “Perfect Illusion” produced by Parker, or the angular pop found in Polachek‘s huge Danny-produced albums. The ongoing debate about whether there are traces of Tame Impala, Daft Punk, or Soulwax in “Houdini” already attests to its potential broad appeal well beyond the usual pop crowd. While the double entendre of the lyrics may touch on ghosting and the title pays homage to the master of escape, one thing is for certain: Dua Lipa isn’t vanishing from the scene anytime soon.
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