Active Child’s debut album ‘You Are All I See’ was a moment of falsetto-pitched and harp-infused clarity in the obsessive year that was 2011. As music blogs tied themselves in knots trying to figure out whether Lana Del Rey was “a thing” or not, Active Child was quietly bowing to wide-eyed acclaim, with his record bringing a moment of calm, and charm, to a frantic time in music.
A year on, and the temperamental tidal shifts in popular opinion that dominate music criticism today have gone through at least three life cycles with Lana. Now, she occupies that strange cultural space where you might overhear anyone from Reggie Yates to your mum going on about the “gangster Nancy Sinatra” (a phrase which will follow her forever), and yet she’s also rapidly regaining her alternative credibility with a ridiculous/amazing video in the form of the theatrical Ride, and with A$AP Rocky and Azealia Banks counting themselves as fans.
Who better to remix her at this point, then, than the soulful Active Child, whose elegant way with a tune is a fresh and uplifting touch for Lana’s familiar whisper-y Americana drama. Making Ride altogether sparser and more arresting, this remix really pinpoints the sadness in Lana’s voice that is the crux of what she’s all about, and makes you listen a little harder. With the romantic addition of strings that are reminiscent of his own music, and clipped backing vocals allowing Lana’s own monologue to take centre stage, Active Child shows a great consideration for the soul of this song, and the fragility of the character behind it.
If Lana Del Rey is undergoing a cultural re-evaluation, then this remix is worth taking into account. Disregarding the hype, backlash and the mixed emotions, this version of Ride is very, very good.
Stream it below, exclusively at Dummy.