Quick Hitters: oldies in present day

You can never have enough keytars…

Hi. If you’re like me, you wonder what things were like back in the 80’s. If that resemblance to me is aged-based then the reason for your inquisitive nature on this decade is attributed to only being around for the tail end of it. Needless to say, I like myself a hefty dose of new wave now and then. There’s the artists that I’m proud to name off as my favorites: Joy Division, The Smiths, Simple Minds. And there’s the others that…uh, despite their image I still liked…A Flock of Seagulls, Mr. Mister, and Wang Chung (Yes, Wang Chung Dammit). Regardless of how cheesy some of them went about their business back then (Flock of Seagulls case in point…Good Gawd,that lead singers hair!), they created catchy, unique songs and paved the way for modern alternative as we know it.

What’s reassuring is that there’s artists out there that are trying to recreate that 80’s sound. These three songs showcase today’s artists ability to bring back those days and with the aid of modern day musical technology, heighten the experience for a truly exceptional new wave experience. The first song I’ve posted is by a pioneer in the revival of 80’s music. He continues to put out good albums and inspire many along the way. His most recent, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming, is a masterpiece. Anthony Gonzalez, or M83, successfully made several tracks that have an overall ambient pop sound with plenty of synths and even some saxophone . It all combines to give one awesome trip back to the 80’s. Pay special attention to Gonzalez’s surprisingly excellent vocals and Morgan Kibby’s memorable monologue during the uplifting “Reunion.”

That was fun, now onto our next winner. Jack Tatum’s project Wild Nothing is drawing a lot of attention on the indie scene. I, for one, cannot get into a lot of his work. He does produce that pseudo new wave sound that I’ve made clear I’m practically obsessed with but I find myself disinterested when listening to a lot of his songs.  To me, it’s a lot of loopy singing combined with awkward instrumentals that almost annoy me. Then I heard “Paradise” and it completely changed the way I saw Wild Nothing. It’s quite brilliant for those that won’t let go to their new wave listening roots. The ambiance he creates along with the monotone singing allows for the ultimate trip back in time. My only beef with the song is the minute and a half gap where practically nothing happens besides this weird whaling sound that I guess it supposed to be the feature of that particular segment. But after that’s over, it returns to greatness.

I’ll finish with what I believe is the strongest of all 3 songs showcased here and one of my picks for top artist of 2012. Twin Shadow is put on by George Lewis Jr. He sounds a lot like Eddie Money and right from the beginning of his songs, you’re hooked. Whether it’s his talent in the voice department or the unique, retro sound he has, it makes for something that has been gone from my CD player (vinyl, I wish) for too long! Check out “Run My Heart.” The lyrics are simple and to the point, not overly thoughtful but not really needing to be. Especially when you have the vocal talent that George does. My favorite part is the chorus where he confesses to his and supposed former love interest’s respective genders and the non-relevance of it all in regards to the plight they find themselves in. I hope you enjoyed all these tracks and if you didn’t, I’m very interested to hear your opinion through means of comment postage. Later