For pop fans, the young London brother duo Disclosure’s 2013 debut, Settle, was something rare: Dance music that was both cutting-edge and easily digestible. Guy and Howard Lawrence’s sharp songwriting skills goosed clear verse-chorus structures (the U.S. top 10 crossover hit “Latch,” which launched Sam Smith’s triumphant solo career) and theme-and-variation sample-fests (the preacher sermon cut-up “When a Fire Starts to Burn”) to create the best dance album of 2013 -- a singular record that both Berlin-bound uber hipsters and neon-clad festival-goers could agree on.
For the latter group, its impact went even deeper. Settle was a genuine line in the sand, one that helped move the new rave generation away from EDM’s blunt blare and toward quicker, slicker and subtler beats. The fact that “deep house” -- which for decades intimated jazzy chords, R&B touchstones and a late-night glow -- has become a millennial term that essentially amounts to “not-shallow house” can be laid, however unwittingly, at the Lawrences’ feet.