Bruno Mars, Anderson .Paak and Silk Sonic Take Their ‘70s Throwback to the Roller Disco With ‘Skate’

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Silk Sonic, the lusciously retro duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak that debuted back in March with the smash throwback single “Leave the Door Open,” continue their loving tribute to the mid-1970s with the smooth R&B of “Skate.”

Where the first single was based around 1974-era groups like the Commodores and the Chi-Lights, “Skate” pivots forward a couple of years with a sound more reminiscent of disco-era acts like Tavares and mid-tempo tracks from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack. As with “Leave the Door Open,” it’s a pitch-perfect throwback, with swooning strings, textured guitars, vintage vocal exhortations and even a period-appropriate financial reference in the opening line: “In a room full of dimes, you’d be worth a hundred dollars.”

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The song comes with an equally pitch-perfect video that features a group of young women in short shorts doing — guess what — roller-skating around Mars, .Paak and the boys performing outdoors in a tropical locale. The song and the clip, directed by Mars and Florent Déchard and co-directed by Philippe Tayag, are a carefree welcome tonic in a tough time.

Even with their hitmaking pedigree, Silk Sonic have racked up a ton of success for an act that’s only now releasing its second song. The ubiquitous “Leave the Door Open” topped the Billboard Hot 100 and won them Best Group at the 2021 BET Awards. They’ve performed that song at the Grammys (along with a tribute to Little Richard), the BET Awards and the iHeartRadio Music Awards.

According to the announcement, the group’s debut album, “An Evening With Silk Sonic,” will be out later this year.

The seeds of the collaboration were planted in 2017 when .Paak opened for Mars on the European leg of his “24K Magic World Tour.” They jammed one night while on tour and apparently explored the vibe they’re following with Silk Sonic — according to the announce,emt, just before quarantine began last year, Mars called .Paak and said, “Remember that idea we had back in 2017? Let’s do it.”

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