New York City-based House duo musclecars have been steadily building a formidable reputation within underground dance circles in their hometown. With the creation of their Coloring Lessons Party in 2018 (which is now a label), they sought to reinvigorate their city’s dance culture and foster a greater sense of community by highlighting and incorporating styles and genres largely associated with their Black ancestry. Shelter, (Building It Still) is the latest solo EP for the duo on their newly minted label.
B-side track, “We Go Home Together”, is a gorgeous, patient, amorphous cut of experimental Jazz-House. Its blend of emotive jazz arrangements with a more propulsive club-ready House beat illustrates a meticulous, yet free-form approach to music-making that the duo thrives at. The track starts with a thumping bass and shifty percussion before an ethereal synth wash wraps it in a more gentle veneer. These club-leaning tendencies turn out to be mostly a red herring, as they’re kept mostly at bay throughout the song’s 7-and-a-half-minute runtime. Once the sax emerges, it’s clear musclecars has committed to their own unique brand of soulful, genre-agnostic House.
As the track hits the halfway point, a piano-line suited for a classic Disco House cut signals yet another new avenue the duo seems keen on exploring. Despite their restless spirit, they never feel as if they’re trying to push too hard in one direction, ultimately allowing the track’s multifarious parts to playfully and organically interact with one another. Here, the duo prove just what naturals they are at concocting such ineffably blissful, melodically soothing dance music.