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Pretty wasted. note 

You’re the one ‘til my tan fades away
Get on a train and we’ll be strangers again
DROELOE, "Sunburn"
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What happens when you combine an electronic music project featuring a distinctive future bass sound with an elaborate mixed media art project? Two Dutch creatives gave the idea a go, and the end result: DROELOE, a unique duo making waves within the EDM scene.

Originally appearing out of the blue in 2015 with their viral track “zZz” on San Holo’s indie record label Bitbird, the duo was later revealed as producer Vincent Rooijers and digital artist Hein Hamers, whose respective positions within the band played to their strengths much like Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in Gorillaz.

The duo’s musical output draws on the genre hallmarks of electronic trap music, but with a heavy emphasis on melodic elements and a diverse sound palette. Also, glockenspiels. Lots of glockenspiels. The duo’s visuals make heavy use of VHS tape filters for a Retraux aesthetic, along with lavishly produced, photorealistic environmental design, a cube of neon lights used for their live shows, and a visual trademark present in almost all of their work: a skull made of solid gold.

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The duo made waves with more singles on Bitbird, Lowly Palace and Monstercat before expanding their discography with two EPs: A Moment in Time in August 2017, and The Choices We Face a year later. Details on the duo’s next project are on the horizon.

Oh, and by the way: it’s “drew-lou,” not “dro-low.”


DISCOGRAPHY.

  • EPs:
    • A Moment In Time (2017)
    • The Choices We Face (2018)
    • A Promise Is Made (2019)


A MOMENT IN TROPES.

  • Bilingual Bonus: Their name is a slang term for “hungover” or “wasted” in Dutch.
  • Boléro Effect: “Arazu” makes use of this through its primary vocal loop.
  • Book-Ends: A Moment In Time begins and ends with the same looping synth note.
  • Creator Thumbprint: The skull.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Some of the earliest songs on their SoundCloud (including “Straight Murder” and the demo version of “Arazu”) make heavier use of outside samples and bear a closer resemblance to straight-up electronic trap than their most recognizable work. Elements of their recognizable style are certainly present, but “zZz” seems to be the point where their most distinctive elements (including the glockenspiel) start to emerge.
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    • While the golden skull has been around since the very beginning, some of the accompanying elements like the VHS-style video effects and text weren’t present until the debut of their “LIFE.” documentaries on YouTube in May 2017, and “Lines of the Broken,” which dropped the same month.
  • Electronic Music: Yep! Specifically, future bass, with electropop and occasional dubstep leanings.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • A Moment in Time uses this at the beginning and end, with “Back When (1997)” blending into the opening of “Sunburn” and “Homebound” transitioning into the beginning bars of “Just Now (2017).”
    • On The Choices We Face, the end of “Turn Around” blends into the opening bars of “Looking Back.”
  • Friendship Song: “Only Be Me.”
  • Genre Roulette: Their work is easily as much future bass/trap inspired as it is synthpop-influenced, and that doesn’t even cover the metallophonic elements.
  • I Am the Band: Vincent makes all of the tunes, though Hein joined him on DJing duty on tour dates until late 2019.
  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: To date, only two of their early solo singles (“Wake the Warrior” and “Shibuya”) and two collaborative releases don’t feature the hallmark golden skull.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro Pay: The “dro-low” pronunciation is enough of a common mistake that they’ve made shirts with “Pronounced Drew-Lou” on them.
  • Limited Lyrics Song: A lot of their songs with vocals make use of this trope, though it’s averted on tracks like “Lines of the Broken” and “Weird Machine.”
    • zZz: “I know, I / It’s like a lullaby”
    • “Arazu”: Its title. That’s it. (Unless you’re listening to the original demo, which also has a Tokyo Ghoul sample for good measure during the bridge.)
    • “Sunburn”: “You’re the one til my tan fades away / Get on a train and we’ll be strangers again”
    • “Step by Step”: The title line and “did I walk too far to turn around, around?” make up the bulk of the lyrics.
    • Aside from the two repeated verses, most of “Backbone” consists of various permutations of the lines “I don’t wanna be like that though / Better grow a fuckin’ backbone.”
  • Non-Appearing Title: None of the titles on the A Moment In Time EP appear in the tracks themselves. Also applies to some of their other singles, including “zZz,” “Kintsugi” and “Moonwalk Mike.”
  • Precision F-Strike: “JUMP” is clean for the most part, but featured vocalist Keeley Bumford (of Nevve) drops a whammy at the start of the song:
    I was thinking that maybe when we get back, you could come with me
    Fuck work, fall in love right now and spend all our money
  • Production Posse:
    • They’re one of the longer-running groups within Bitbird’s roster and have shown up on all of the label’s compilation albums. Some of their contemporaries include San Holo, Taska Black, Sem, Fytch, Flaws and Duskus.
    • Additionally, some of their frequent collabs outside of Bitbird include songwriting group Nevve and fellow electropop duo CUT_.
  • Remix Album: The Choices We Face got its own remix EP a few months after it released. The band themselves have done remixes for their label’s founder San Holo, as well as Selena Gomez, Petit Biscuit, ARIZONA and Charli XCX, among others.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: The vocals on “Homebound” do this with a pitched-down version of the main singer’s voice.
  • Self Empowerment Anthem: “Weird Machine” is a fun variant, with the narrator either metaphorically seeing herself as a newly independent robot among humans or outright being one.

They can try to shut us down
But we will turn that switch back on
We’re not here to fuck around
The future’s our phenomenon
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