The innovative sound of progressive house duo Sultan & Ned Shepard, heavily influenced by classical and contemporary training in both piano and guitar, is evidenced through their seamless use of synthetic and organic instrumentals. The result: a diversified and unique sound. Their latest single, “All These Roads” (featuring Zella Day and Sam Martin), earned critical acclaim after debuting earlier this month on Pete Tong‘s BBC Radio 1 broadcast. Billboard recognized Sultan & Ned Shepard “are no stranger to the hook,” as seen in numerous remixes for high profile pop artists.
“All These Roads” is their first official crossover single, a bonafide popper that Billboard says “ebbs and flows with harmonies and rhythmic shifts, complementing [vocals delivered with gusto].” Very interesting piece of this song are more subtle drops, layered so as to support the buildup and add continuous melody and highlight that not used in EDM production, such as hooks and harmonies, piano or guitar.
Sultan explains their intent in the development of “All These Roads.” They wanted to make a timeless piece of music that would sustain current trends, withstand the test of time by stepping outside the realm of current fads, “to set it apart from all of the synthetic music that is happening at the moment.” This may incinuate that synthetic music doesn’t have the same staying power as organic. Only time will tell, and diversifying the industry can do nothing but good, but EDM by any other name would smell as sweet. Just like Shakespeare said. Or was it Jim Morrison Sultan said: “[There is] such a power in heartfelt vocals, acoustic guitars, horns and pianos, and so we wanted to make those elements very present.” The vocals on this track are all heart, mixing and matching so many melodic sounds on top of the strength of percussive house music.
In September, “All These Roads” led to the development of a music video, visually stunning and rich with sentiment, probably because the setting was TomorrowWorld. Acoustic guitar softly introduces some of the attendees through testimonials. Adrian, Surge, Liz from Boston. On the road to graduation with flowers in her hair. On the road to happiness. On the road to see the rest of the world, the TomorrowWorld, in a black and silver kandi mask. On the road to becoming a lawyer in a pink bunny costume. Girls raging on shoulders, fists in the air or extending one finger to the sky. Through the streamers and confetti, an entire crowd jumps in unison. The fan perspective is well representing through entrance shots, shots looking back, from the side, and close up on special moments, two best friends holding hands, guys in robot masks. No one is afraid to be who they are at a festival of this nature. Three days to be the weirdest, most daring, everything you’re not individual. And no one will judge you for it or tell you that you’re wrong.
“Let People Be People. Let Love Be Love,” said one of the testimonials.
The other side of this is the artist’s perspective. Sultan’s dreadlocks appear first as their feet are followed by the camera up metal grated stares to take their place at the table. His lengthy locks whip around when he jumps, and their energy is matched by an audience jumping in unison as Shepard is raising his fist to the sky in solidarity with them.
One final message as the music softens again, and the screen fades to black: “THANK YOU FOR BEING A PART OF OUR JOURNEY. Share Yours: #alltheseroads #ontheroad”
Yesterday was the official release date for the track today on Parametric Records, Atlantic Records new label, via the iTunes Store and all leading DSPs. A break from their own label, Harem Records. In addition, paying tribute to guitar and piano is the extended version, available on Beatport.