Deep House often features gospel-esque vocals, dissonant, piano-driven melodies, and strong jazz influences
Deep house is a subgenre of house music that started in Chicago in the 1980s. It fuses together house music with jazz, funk, and soul, and often has a more acoustic feeling. Deep house also has some techno elements in it, and is typically between 120-123 bpm. You’ll hear a lot of groovy basslines and dissonant melodies in deep house tracks.
When deep house tracks do feature vocals, you’ll get a really soulful, passionate delivery, creating a very smooth sound. Deep house typically has a very chill ambience, and can be very relaxing. Electric pianos are commonly used to create those jazzy sounds, and adds more of a human touch to house music compared to many other house subgenres. A perfect example of this is Ducked Ape’s ‘Lost in Escape’. Listen to it below, and you’ll hear those insanely poignant vocals that we just can’t get enough of!
In addition, heavy bass pluck sounds add to a lot of the psychedelic vibes common in deep house, and you’ll notice a lot of gospel sounding vocal samples used as well. Although deep house has its roots in Chicago and New York, the genre blew up in the UK by the mid-90s, developing the genre into what it is today.
Producers like Mr. Fingers and On the House are widely considered to be some of the forefathers of the genre, but other big names include Kerri Chandler, Ron Trent, Claude VonStroke, and Frankie Knuckles. We’ll show you some of our favourite examples of deep house tunes from recent years below to give you a better idea of what the genre is all about!
Just last week, Clark Cables dropped this gorgeous tune, ‘Don’t Just Stare’. You’ll immediately notice the down to earth jazz vibes, and the soulful delivery of the lyrics is exactly what deep house is all about. There’s definitely a playful nature with the pitched-up samples mixed in, but it always comes back to that deep, passionate delivery from Danica B. The melody has that slightly dissonant quality to it as well, which is characteristic of the genre.
If you want an example of the more upbeat side of deep house, look no further than M1’s remix of Jolyon Petch’s ‘U Sure Do’. You’ll instantly notice the energetic piano used to build up the melody in the beginning, and the gospel-esque nature to the vocals as well. And of course, the house beat is especially apparent in this one, and you can really hear the depth that gives the genre its name. This one also has a unique 80s flair to it, but still incorporates a lot of the characteristics of deep house mentioned above. If anything, it goes to show what a wide range of sounds can still be classified under one specific subgenre!
And finally, we have this remix of MSCLS’s ‘Runaway’ by Truth & Lies. We again hear a strong emphasis on those ardent vocals, and that slightly glitchy quality to the melody that creates a slight sense of dissonance. The house beat is definitely present and easily recognisable, but it’s each element layered on top that really makes this stand out as a deep house tune. We love how prominent the piano is, and we’re transported back to 80s Chicago in an instant! We can imagine Savannah Low delivering her lyrics in an underground club somewhere, and can’t help but wish we were alive to experience it.