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"Saving Light" is a song by English trance producers Gareth Emery and Standerwick, featuring American electropop singer-songwriter Haliene. It was released by Canadian record label Monstercat on 30 January 2017 as part of an initiative organised by the label and Emery called "Make Trance No. 1 Again". Their goal was to encourage fans purchase the song on Beatport to support the anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label and in so doing have it reach the top of the Beatport charts. The song achieved this goal within a week of its release, reaching number one on the Beatport overall charts on 16 February 2017.

"Saving Light"
An image of a mountain range during sunset with a person posing out of focus
Single by Gareth Emery and Standerwick featuring Haliene
from the album Monstercat 030 – Finale
Released30 January 2017 (2017-01-30)
FormatDigital Download
Genre
Length
  • 4:36 (original mix)
  • 6:38 (extended mix)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Gareth Emery singles chronology
"Isolate"
(2014)
"Saving Light"
(2017)
"Call to Arms"
(2018)
Standerwick singles chronology
"Rebirth"
(2016)
"Saving Light"
(2017)
"Streets of Gold"
(2017)
Music video
"Saving Light" on YouTube

"Saving Light" was voted the 2017 Tune of the Year on Armin van Buuren's radio show A State of Trance and won Best Original Track in the Trance category on the Best of 2017 voted by the r/EDM subreddit. The song was featured on the compilation album Monstercat 030 – Finale, released on 22 February 2017. It was later re-released by Armada Music for inclusion on Armin van Buuren's 2017 trance mix album, A State of Trance 2017.

Contents

Background and releaseEdit

Electronic music producers Ian Standerwick and Gareth Emery produced a demo version of "Saving Light", which they gave to Songwriters Roxanne Emery, Haliene, Matthew Steeper, and Karra during a writing session. The group composed the lyrics in under an hour. Emery and Standerwick tried different ideas for a musical style for six months before settling on a classic trance interpretation. Standerwick and Emery produced 20 versions of "Saving Light" with different instrumentals, which included an electronic dance music (EDM) drop and a dubstep section. Emery tested each version as part of his DJ set before the song was completed.[1]

"Saving Light" debuted at the Electric Daisy Carnival music festival in June 2016; it was released as a digital download on 30 January 2017.[2] The song was featured was featured on the compilation album titled Monstercat 030 – Finale released on 22 February 2017.[3]

Emery had described the song's meaning as about standing up to bully and supporting victim by being their "saving light".[1] Throughout the month of February, the proceeds from "Saving Light" were donated to Ditch the Label, a charity which supports victims of bullying.[4][5]

"Make Trance No. 1 Again"Edit

"Saving Light" was released as part of "Make Trance No. 1 Again". This was an initiative organised by Emery and Monstercat that encouraged fans to purchase the song to support the anti-bullying charity Ditch the Label. It received 100% of the profits made from sales of the song in the month of February.[1][6]

On 6 February 2017, "Saving Light" overtook tech house songs "Swagon" by Detlef and "Same Man" by Franky Rizardo to reach number one on the Beatport overall charts. It was the first trance song to enter the charts since "Anahera" by Gouryella in 2015, which reached only the number 10 position.[6] In a Facebook post, American DJ and producer Christopher Lawrence criticised Emery for promoting "Saving Light" in hopes of it reaching number one on the Beatport charts. Writing that Emery had been "waving the EDM flag for years", Lawrence said that trance does not need saving and has been doing "just fine without him". Lawrence has since deleted his post.[6]

RemixesEdit

On 17 August 2017, an acoustic rendition of "Saving Light" was released as a collaboration between the Saint James Music Academy choir and Monstercat. A video showing the choir performing the song was released by Monstercat via their YouTube channel.[7] Lennon Cihak of EDM.com praised Haliene's vocals, writing, "[Haliene] powers through the entire piece, placing her emotions, feelings, and strength behind the lyrics." Cihak further wrote about the overall video production, describing it as "warm, subtle and comforting".[8] Lisa-sun Nguyen of EDM Identity wrote that the acoustic rendition "retained much of the magic of the song but in a softer way and tugging at your heartstrings", stating that Haliene's vocals worked together with the choir to "make a song that was already amazing into something beautiful."[9]

An extended play of "Saving Light" was released in August 2017; it features six remixes by various artists, including one by American producer Notaker.[9] His remix was generally well received. An EDM Sauce editor wrote that Notaker added a "gritty digital feel" to the song, letting him "display his own version of this already incredible track."[10] Dancing Astronaut's Robyn Dexter praised Notaker's sound design and production, saying he "continues to prove he's a force to be reckoned with in the dance music community."[11]

On 30 January 2019, two years after the original release of "Saving Light", Haliene released the official acoustic version of the song under her own name on Monstercat. Upon release, Haliene talked about her interpretation of the song, commenting "There are some songs that make you dance, some songs that make you cry, but few that truly touch your soul. Without doubt, "Saving Light" is one of those rare ones." Vivian Lin of Earmilk praised the rendition, calling it an "orchestral rhapsody that brings one back into the light", further describing the song as one that both "empowers and inspires, and something that may very well help you find the light in your life."[12]

Critical receptionEdit

Critical response to "Saving Light" was largely positive, with Hailene's vocal performance praised.[1][2][5] Sergei Zarovnyi of Billboard wrote that she adds "incredible vocals to the gripping production and lyrics that speak to the soul",[1] while We Rave You's Fiorito Maniego felt that her voice suits the song's trance composition.[5] Emery and Standerwick's production also received positive reviews.[5][13][14] Abisola Oseni of EDM Identity praised "Saving Light" as "melodic and uplifting",[14] and Steph Evans of Earmilk referred to the melody as "plain beautiful, emotional [with] a production that speaks to each level of talent involved".[13] Additionally, the song won Best Original Track in the Trance category on the Best of 2017 by the r/EDM subreddit with 198 participants.[15]

A State of Trance 2017 and Tune of the YearEdit

On 1 November 2017, Armada Music opened voting to select for the 2017 Tune of the Year for Armin van Buuren's radio show A State of Trance.[16][17] On 19 December, Van Buuren revealed the top 50 most voted tracks, which included "Saving Light". These songs were to comprise his mix album, A State of Trance 2017.[18][19] On 21 December 2017, Van Buuren concluded the 845th episode of his radio show, announcing that "Saving Light" had won Tune of the Year. Matthew Meadow of Your EDM noted that this marked the first time a non-trance label (Monstercat) has won the award.[20][21]

Music videoEdit

Gareth Emery, Roxanne, Haliene, Matthew Steeper, and Karra developed a music video to focus on a theme of bullying and harassment. They contacted Ditch the Label to help create a storyline on the subject to make sure the depiction of bullying was as authentic as possible. They wished to showcase its harmful effects, potentially leading to thoughts of suicide, and the positive impact of one voice.[1][4][22] In an interview with Billboard, Emery commented on the production process of the music video, saying:

Given the nature of the song, we didn't want a standard dance music video of Ian and I bouncing up and down at a festival. Fuck that. So we started thinking about making something that would provide hope for those dealing with adversity. Bullying became a natural theme after that, but Roxanne and I are in our 30s, so we knew our 'take' on the subject would likely miss the mark. So we got in touch with Ditch the Label, who has the world's largest anti-bullying hub and worked with their founder Liam Hackett to make sure the storyline portrayed this horrible issue in an authentic and sensitive way to the nature of bullying in today's youth. Lee Jones, the director, was the real star of the show though, taking a couple of pages of 'ideas' from us and turning it into such a tear jerker.

— Gareth Emery talking about the concept of the music video for "Saving Light"[1]

The music video was announced by Monstercat via their YouTube channel on 24 January 2017 and was released on 30 January 2017.[23] It was met with a mostly positive reception. Caroline O'Keefe of The Nocturnal Times wrote that it a "heartbreaking and emotional story of bullying."[2] Dance Music Northwest's Stanley Sutton called the music video "emotionally charged" saying it was a "tough watch" because of its subject matter.[24] Abisola Oseni of EDM Identity described the music video as "even more powerful" than the song, describing it as an "inspirational and deeply moving piece that shows this but also provides hope."[14]

Track listingsEdit

Digital download – Single[25]
No.TitleLength
1."Saving Light"4:36
2."Saving Light" (Extended Mix)6:38
Total length:11:14
Digital download – Remixes[26]
No.TitleLength
1."Saving Light" (Nwyr Remix)2:59
2."Saving Light" (Notaker Remix)5:47
3."Saving Light" (Intercom Remix)4:59
4."Saving Light" (Hixxy Remix)4:35
5."Saving Light" (Ruben de Ronde Remix)6:35
6."Saving Light" (Decoy! Remix)3:07
Total length:28:02
Digital download – Acoustic[27]
No.TitleLength
1."Saving Light" (Acoustic)3:20
Total length:3:20

Credits and personnelEdit

Credits adapted from Gareth Emery's interview with Alexa Shouneyia of Billboard:[1]

Management

  • Roxanne Emery

Personnel

  • Lead vocals – Kelly Sweet
  • Songwriting – Roxanne Emery, Kelly Sweet, Matthew Steeper, and Karra Madden
  • Production – Ian Standerwick and Gareth Emery

Release historyEdit

Region Date Format Version Label Ref.
Worldwide 30 January 2017 Digital download "Saving Light" (feat. Haliene) Monstercat [1]
22 February 2017 Monstercat 030 – Finale [3]
18 August 2017 "Saving Light" (The Remixes) [feat. Haliene] [9]
1 November 2017 A State of Trance 2017 Armada Music [28]
30 January 2019 "Saving Light" (Acoustic) Monstercat [12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Shouneyia, Alexa (31 January 2017). "Gareth Emery Takes on Bullying With 'Saving Light' Charity Release on Monstercat". Billboard. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  2. ^ a b c O'Keefe, Caroline (8 February 2017). "Gareth Emery & Standerwick's Release "Saving Light" via Monstercat". The Nocturnal Times. Archived from the original on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ a b Fleury, Landon (23 February 2017). "Monstercat Trumps Evil in 30th Compilation Album 'Finale' | Your EDM". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 5 April 2018. Retrieved 5 May 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ a b Fleury, Landon (30 January 2017). "Monstercat Drops The Most Spine-Tingling, Emotionally Charged Song of 2017 [LISTEN]". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 30 March 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d Maniego, Florito (1 February 2017). "Gareth Emery & Standerwick feat. HAILENE – Saving Light | We Rave You". We Rave You. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ a b c Fleury, Landon (6 February 2017). "Trance Claims No. 1 on Beatport for the First Time in Years [LISTEN]". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 5 April 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ "Gareth Emery & Standerwick – Saving Light Performance Video (feat. Haliene & SJMA Choir)". 17 August 2017. Archived from the original on 6 August 2018. Retrieved 6 August 2018 – via YouTube. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ Cihak, Lennon (18 August 2017). "Gareth Emery & Standerwick Get Help From Haliene and the SJMA Choir for Acoustic Rendition of 'Saving Light'". EDM.com. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 23 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ a b c Nguyen, Lisa-sun (20 August 2017). "Monstercat Releases Six Stunning 'Saving Light' Remixes". EDM Identity. Archived from the original on 13 April 2018. Retrieved 12 April 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Babaoglu, Jim (18 August 2017). "Gareth Emery-Saving Light (Notaker Remix)". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. ^ Dexter, Robyn (19 August 2017). "Gareth Emery & Standerwick – Saving Light ft. Hailene (Notaker Remix) – Dancing Astronaut". Dancing Astronaut. Archived from the original on 20 August 2017. Retrieved 20 August 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  12. ^ a b Lin, Vivian (31 January 2019). "HALIENE releases acoustic version of 'Saving Light' after two-year mark". Earmilk. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ a b Evans, Steph (1 February 2017). "Monstercat surprises with Gareth Emery & Standerwick and the beautiful "Saving Light" – EARMILK". Earmilk. Archived from the original on 3 April 2017. Retrieved 17 March 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  14. ^ a b c Oseni, Abisola (31 January 2017). "Gareth Emery, Standerwick, & Haliene Release "Saving Light"! | EDM Identity". EDM Identity. Archived from the original on 20 May 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  15. ^ Meadow, Matthew (28 December 2017). "Reddit Reveals The Results for Best of EDM in 2017". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 29 December 2017. Retrieved 30 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ "A State of Trance – Vote for your Tune of the Year 2017! | Armada Music – Home to the music you love". Armada Music. 1 November 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ Sutton, Stanley (3 November 2017). "Vote Now: A State of Trance Tune of the Year 2017". Dance Music NW. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  18. ^ Bonavoglia, Brian (15 December 2017). "Armin van Buuren Shares 'A State of Trance Year Mix 2017'". DJ Times. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  19. ^ "Armin van Buuren names his tracks of the year with mega two-hour ASOT mix: Listen". DJ Mag. 18 December 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  20. ^ Meadow, Matthew (21 December 2017). "A Seriously Unexpected Label Took Home ASOT's Song of the Year". Your EDM. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ "2017's ASOT Top 50 is here!". A State of Trance. 21 December 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  22. ^ Vargas, Ulises (30 January 2017). "Gareth Emery and Standerwick Release Powerful Anti-Bullying Music Video". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on 2 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  23. ^ "Gareth Emery & Standerwick present: Saving Light (feat. HALIENE) Announcement". 24 January 2017. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2018 – via YouTube. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  24. ^ Sutton, Stanley (1 February 2017). "Help Gareth Emery and Standerwick Put A Stop To Bullying". Dance Music NW. Archived from the original on 8 April 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  25. ^ "Saving Light (feat. HALIENE)". Monstercat. 30 January 2017. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  26. ^ "Saving Light (The Remixes) [feat. HALIENE]". Monstercat. 18 August 2017. Archived from the original on 3 July 2018. Retrieved 3 July 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  27. ^ "Saving Light (Acoustic)". Monstercat. 30 January 2019. Archived from the original on 1 February 2019. Retrieved 2 February 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  28. ^ White, Nick (15 December 2017). "Armin van Buuren Wraps Up An Eventful 2017 With Yearly 'A State of Trance Year Mix'". EDM Sauce. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit