Pop is always a little more interesting when Skrillex is around. The hardcore artist-turned-megaproducer/DJ helped popularize dubstep in the mainstream while also ushering an EDM-forward era of both pop music and rap. But in the last several years, he quietly stepped back from being one of our most prolific stars, popping up sparingly to collaborate with new and old friends.
Fans were ecstatic when he teased new music on New Year’s Day, and he fulfilled his promise just a few days later with “Rumble” featuring Fred Again.. and Flowdan. His latest offering is the excellent and bite-sized new offering “Way Back” with PinkPantheress and Trippie Redd.
The trio are a match made in heaven, creating a song that has a skittish urgency. Its bubbling beat pairs well with both Tripe Redd’s trap-punk sensibility and PinkPantheress’ speedy yet delicate vocal delivery. The song is softer than Skrillex’s usual fare, with the vocalists singing about a “way back home,” specifically a person they love dearly. It’s a sweet love song with a bit of bite to it.
This year could mark a big return for Skrillex, whose collaborations in the years since releasing his only solo album (Recess) and collaborative project with Diplo (Jack Ü) has been experimenting with how his tough sound fits in with the new generation of EDM stars and, more recently, reggaeton and Latin trap artists (to great success). With recent hits for his peers like David Guetta and Tiesto, the second coming of Skrillex’s reign is imminent.