Today Beta Frontiers is premiering “If I Stayed,” a new collaboration with DIANA‘s Carmen Elle. The song is the first single from Beta Frontiers’ new EP, Heights, which will be released on Buzz Records on May 5th, and is his second collaboration with Elle, following their 2014 single “So Cold,” which attracted attention from outlets like Noisey, Spin and Gorilla vs Bear.
Though he has been immersed in production and remix work for artists like Weaves, Fear of Men, PONY and Odonis Odonis, this track is the first release from Beta Frontiers (AKA Mike Butler) since his last collaboration with Elle, and it was constructed over the course of several months, with Butler initially sending Elle a beat to work with before taking it apart and rearranging his production around her contribution.
“We started working on “If I Stayed” at the end of last summer when I sent Carmen a totally different beat,” Butler tells FADER. “It had a 93 ’til Infinity kind of vibe and she wrote to that and it was sounding great. Unfortunately that version was centered around a new jack swing sample that in the end I couldn’t get cleared, but I was really into what Carmen had written, and I was particularly inspired by her lyrics, so I did some re-arrangements and built a new song around her vocals, in a sense creating a soundtrack to the story she was telling. It was a blessing in disguise in a way, as I think this version came out better than where we started with the track, and it gave me the ability to write music to punctuate Carmen’s narrative.”
Elle, who wrote the song’s lyrics in addition to contributing her vocal to the track, describes it as concerning the interplay of agency and impulse in romantic life.
“The song was my attempt at exploring a really small, relatable moment,” she says. “A moment of attraction, an active choice and the huge unknowns that come with that. Anyone who is looking for love or company or connection with other people hasthat moment of decision where they commit to being open, if only for a little while. The melody and the lyrics paired well with the initial version of the song, but I enjoy the version we’re releasing as it holds just a little bit more tension…there’s a little bit more there to think about.”
Heights will be released on Buzz Records on May 5th. It is available for preorder here.