Song of the Week: Elton John and Britney Spears Make a Triumphant Return to the Dance Floor with “Hold Me Closer”

·9 min read

The post Song of the Week: Elton John and Britney Spears Make a Triumphant Return to the Dance Floor with “Hold Me Closer” appeared first on Consequence.

Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song we just can’t get out of our head each week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, two of the biggest pop stars of all time join forces for an epic remix. 

There was something incredibly magical about Sir Elton John‘s friendship and creative partnership with songwriter Bernie Taupin. Taupin, for anyone unfamiliar, is responsible for the lyrics to most of John’s most beloved songs: “Your Song,” “Rocket Man,” “Daniel,” and, of course, “Tiny Dancer” are all on that list.

Many of Elton John’s songs have become the modern equivalent of songbook standards, persisting in relevance and popularity to this day. “Hold Me Closer,” an interpolation of the beloved “Tiny Dancer,” sees John join forces with another of the biggest pop stars of all time. It’s a partnership that makes more and more sense the longer you think about it — something Elton John and Britney Spears have in common is a spirit of persistence, finding joy in moments of community and the togetherness that music can provide.

“Hold Me Closer” strikes as an instant-classic because, in the literal sense, it already is — we all know the melody and the key lyrics by heart, but the new contributions from Spears provide a present-day spin that gives a new life to the original tune. John is no stranger to collaborations — “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” still hits — and his more recent work with Dua Lipa (“Cold Heart”) or onstage appearances with Miley Cyrus and Sara Bareilles are reminders of his openness to staging new, imaginative versions of songs from his massive discography.

“Hold Me Closer” is a lovely way to welcome Britney Spears back to our music libraries. John shared that he reached out to Spears directly to chat about collaborating on the track after hearing of her love for the original 1971 song, and the result is as dreamy and delightful as one might’ve hoped.

— Mary Siroky
Contributing Editor

Honorable Mentions

Mickey Guyton – “Somethin’ Bout You

Mickey Guyton often manages to capture all the things that make country music great. Her music is infused with authenticity to its very core, as if the Texas native is sharing bits of her heart with every new tune. This applies to “Somethin’ Bout You,” which was co-written with Tyler Hubbard and David Garcia, and arrives as the late-summer jam we didn’t know we needed. It’s easy, breezy, and sweet in a way that recalls the radio lineups of the ’90s. Let it sweep you up for just under three minutes of bliss. — M.S.

Hope Tala – “Leave It On The Dancefloor”

Hope Tala is back once again with the perfect end-of-summer concoction. This time, however, she’s traded her usual laid-back bossa nova grooves for a driving disco strut, demonstrating Hope Tala’s versatility while leaning into a more open ended, pop-oriented sound.

She’s continued her collaboration with producer Greg Kurstin for the irresistible song, whose slick, hi-fi work behind the boards show that this partnership is rapidly expanding her sound and potential. But at the center of “Leave It On The Dancefloor” is a call to release your worries and live in the moment — and though much of Hope Tala’s output has centered around relationships and love, it’s a pleasure to hear her embrace an equally universal message. — Paolo Ragusa

Whitney – “COUNTY LINES”

“After all, it might be over now,” Whitney lament atop a soft piano in “COUNTY LINES,” a raw and tender ballad that mourns the end of a relationship. “Hardly willing to believe you’re not around,” they continue, as they come to terms with the end of a romance that probably ended for the best. There’s a sense of closure within the lyrics that can only come with healing; it’s a bittersweet track, and hopefully a balm or salve for listeners still nursing a sad and broken heart — with the understanding that things can and will be better over time. — Cady Siregar

High Vis – “Trauma Bonds”

UK rockers High Vis have released “Trauma Bonds,” another standout single from their upcoming album Blending (out September 30th). “Are we still lucky to be here?” asks frontman Graham Sayle, continuing Blending’s existential quandaries and therapeutic realizations. Sayle really shows you what his voice is capable of on “Trauma Bonds,” and there’s no doubt that he’s giving everything in the booth on these songs.

The band’s rise-and-fall dynamics behind his anthemic vocals are both affecting and serene, and it’s a great example of the sheer power this band possesses. With each new single digging further into the heart of Blending’s message of hope, acceptance, and peace, “Trauma Bonds” feels like an important and transformational puzzle piece. — P.R.

Sammy Rae & Friends – “If It All Goes South”

Sammy Rae has a voice that she is able to wield with the detail and razor-sharp precision of a classical instrumentalist. The Brooklyn-based collective is rounded out by a band (the “Friends”) that matches Rae as the vocal anchor of the gang, playing with jazz, pop hooks, and bluesy emotions throughout their discography. “If It All Goes South” has a free-wheeling lack of structure that keeps the listener on their toes in all the best ways. Tracks from the group don’t always fall into a traditional verse-chorus format, instead often building around opportunities for vocal and instrumental breaks. Maybe every song should almost be six minutes long — or maybe just the ones that are this rich, and this fun. — M.S.

VeeAlwaysHere – “other side”

It’s a great time to be a fan of dreamy synth-pop. Los Angeles-based producer and singer-songwriter VeeAlwaysHere has added another track perfect for the playlists we tend to turn on when driving and wanting to feel like the main character in an indie film, slotting itself in alongside similar sounds from The Weeknd or, perhaps more closely, an artist like Troye Sivan. It’s a song for all the hopeless romantics out there, or anyone who tends to be consumed by tiny decisions and the big outcomes they tend to have on life. For an artist who has played around with multiple genres, this is an exciting direction. — M.S.

Gus Dapperton – “Landslide”

Gus Dapperton, an artsy indie-pop songwriter who’s winning over fans with his unique approach to production, has found a new home at Warner Records. What better way to celebrate such an accomplishment than by transforming “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac into a wonky, synth-led piece of art-pop?

On second thought, Stevie Nicks’ emotional ballad might be a strange choice to soundtrack celebration. But, hey, when a song’s this good, who are we to ask questions? Dapperton maintains the original’s solitary feel, but trades the acoustic guitar for synth keys, tasteful auto-tune, and buckets of reverb. It honors the original while taking it in a new direction, as all good covers should. — Jonah Krueger

Let’s Eat Grandma – “Watching You Go”

Upon first listen, Let’s Eat Grandma’s “Watching You Go” might come across as a nostalgic dance anthem. With its sequenced drums and ‘80s synth arpeggios, it almost is. But once the chord progression establishes itself, it becomes clear that the track is far from carefree. As Jenny Hollingworth’s lyrics unfold, it all falls into place. “Watching You Go,” off of the duo’s latest album Two Ribbons, is a powerfully emotional piece of art-pop detailing the confusing feelings of grief. It’s at once a beautiful tribute and a gripping exploration of the reality of loss; a truly artful expression of some of the hardest circumstances one can face. — J.K.

Tropical Fuck Storm – “Moonburn”

Tropical Fuck Storm songs are disgusting. It’s as if the band writes a rock tune, leaves it out in the sun to rot, and then proceeds to harvest the sloppy remains a few weeks later. It’s utterly amazing.

“Moonburn,” their latest effort, is no different. The guitars are melting in real time, the song’s structure seems to be wandering through some Cronenberg-esque wasteland, and frontman Gareth Liddiard delivers his signature snarl, which sounds like an angry Australian coming to after a weekend bender. It’s another helping of the type of music only Tropical Fuck Storm creates, and it’s a thing of beauty. — J.K.

Ingrid Andress – “Feel Like This”

“It’s crazy how manipulation feels like a soft blanket holding you tight” is such a knockout of an opening line — one that commands your attention. Ingrid Andress, the Nashville-based singer songwriter who has a knack for balancing country music hallmarks with a sense of modernity and urgency, is back with her sophomore album, Good Person. “Feel Like This,” which appears on the new record, builds and crests like a wave, an organic and instantly believable climax that crescendos and ends quietly. It feels like Andress is sharing a secret with us, and the same goes for so much of the new album, too. — M.S.

Dear Nora – “scrolls of doom”

Even if you haven’t heard Dear Nora — the cult favorite indie-pop project of Southern California’s Katy Davidson — there’s a chance you’ve heard their impact on some of your favorite indie bands, from the indelible melodies of Joyce Manor to the pared-down charm of Frankie Cosmos. After a prolific output under the moniker throughout the early 2000s, Davidson returned from a decade-long hiatus with 2018’s Skulls Example; this week, they’re keeping the comeback momentum going with “scrolls of doom,” the lead single to their upcoming album Human Futures.

“scrolls of doom” feels like a natural progression for Davidson into the 2020s. Where early Dear Nora recordings were mostly centered around scrappy guitars and production that was endearingly rough around the edges, “scrolls of doom” cleans things up a bit without sacrificing what makes a Dear Nora song a Dear Nora song, like finding meaning in seemingly-mundane observations. “Plastic wrapped around a spoon/ Deep sea scrolls of doom/ And listening to Flume,” they sing over a hypnotic keyboard riff. “scrolls of doom” highlights what Davidson has done best for over 20 years now: Finding power in simplicity. — Abby Jones

Top Songs Playlist:

Check out and subscribe to our Spotify Top Songs playlist.

Song of the Week: Elton John and Britney Spears Make a Triumphant Return to the Dance Floor with “Hold Me Closer”
Mary Siroky and Consequence Staff

Popular Posts

Subscribe to Consequence’s email digest and get the latest breaking news in music, film, and television, tour updates, access to exclusive giveaways, and more straight to your inbox.