Martin Garrix‘s wall-to-wall dance pop has been permeating through the world’s most-frequented clubs since before he was old enough to legally enter many of them without an escort. Considering his prolific background as a DJ/producer, it’s only logical that Garrix has repeatedly ventured outside the Martin Garrix masthead to perform and create music under alternative aliases like AREA21, with hip-hop-inspired American talent, Maejor, as well as the deeper, tech-house-leaning YTRAM (Marty spelled backwards).
Garrix has used the Grx project, however, to explore his heavier electro sensibilities — at least in the past. Now, with the newest Grx release on his own STMPD RCRDS, “X’s,” supported by fellow Dutchman, CMC$, and Swedish electronic pop duo, Icona Pop, Grx is softening up his sound. The track’s effervescent melody and high-hitting, traditional Garrix-style vocal chops are quite tender in comparison to earlier Grx tracks like “Gamer” and “Boomerang.” While Icona Pop sings a rueful story of love lost, sprightly, twinkling synths afford the track an ultimately uplifting quality.