The duo’s radio-friendly pop soundscape ranges from sweeping, orchestral anthems, to intimate ballads, unified by pensive lyrics that explore the relationship between vast grandeur and the tiniest elements that hold the universe together.
Band mates Ian Axel and Chad King first caught the attention of listeners worldwide with their 2013 single “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera. It went 7x platinum and scored the 2015 Grammy Award for “Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.”
The new album features 10 tracks, including their latest single “Glowing” which they recently performed on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan.
Vocalist and pianist Ian Axel describes the new collection as a “cross-section between science and spirituality.”
“With the album, we were curious about the idea of the infinite… the mirror image of the infinitely small with the infinitely large,” the band explained. “Particles vs A Great Big World. We believe that the entire universe and all of its mystery exist in every particle… and each of us is made up of tiny particles containing the whole.”
“When the two of us write, we often feel like we’re a part of something bigger that we’re all connected to,” Axel said. “So in a way, it’s a very spiritual practice for us. I really believe that the more we look inward while writing, the more we can connect with others.”
These themes are present in songs like “Fall On Me,” a powerful piano ballad about surrendering and connecting to something greater than oneself. Doubling down on their past connection with Aguilera, A Great Big World reunites with her on the song.
Particles also reflects the power of storytelling on songs like “Boys In The Street,” a heart wrenching coming-out epic originally written by Greg Holden.
The track was especially personal for vocalist Chad King, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and was brought to life for the music video by renowned choreographer Travis Wall.
For King, the song stirred up memories of getting bullied as a child for being gay, and his immediate connection to the songwriting cemented it as a necessary cover for this new album.
“I remember hearing it for the first time, and I knew, in that moment, that I wanted to sing it,” King said. “I needed to cover this song. It resonated with experiences that I had in a way that felt completely personal.”
Additionally, one of the new tracks shares King’s experience of falling in love for the first time.
“‘The One’ was such an easy song to write because it was inspired by the moment when I fell in love for the first time,” shares King. “I just never knew what that was like before. The world looked so wonderful!”
With a dramatic yet intimate pop sound, Particles reintroduces this veteran songwriting duo as artists who wield precise control over a vast emotional spectrum.
This vision led to a collaboration with contemporary artist Kysa Johnson who designed the Particles artwork by tracing the patterns subatomic particles make when they decay, crafting a beautifully cosmic image that reflects both death and creation in its wake.