• JC

The New Retro

For those of us of a certain vintage there is a certain romanticism about looking back on the 80's, particularly when it comes to music and films. I'm sure the reality was quite different for our parents, struggling economy, Conservative government and widespread unrest in cities up and down the country. Yet despite all that we celebrate the 80's like it was a golden era and who's to say it wasn't?

Perhaps it's the very fact that times were so difficult that we took comfort in those songs and films. The John Hughes films, and others of the same ilk, took us to a place that we could only dream about and gave us aspiration - whether or not that was right or wrong is a different debate altogether.

The music that sound-tracked many of those films were instant classics. Simple, chorus heavy, electronic masterpieces - or they certainly feel that way now.

Look, I'm not for a minute suggesting that Wang Chung and Kajagoogoo are up there with the best songwriters of all time, but they knew what they were doing, and they did it well. They focused on emotion rather than songwriting and they tried to make people feel something. Which for me they did in spades.

Fast forward 30+ years and we have a new generation of 1980's inspired music. It's no coincidence that this has come at a time when films inspired by the 80's are on the rise which of course makes the need for 80's music increase. A few films that spring to mind are:

  • American Psycho

  • The Wolf Of Wall Street

  • Hot Tub Time Machine

  • The Pursuit Of Happyness

  • Dallas Buyers Club

  • American Hustle

  • Drive

  • Adventureland

  • Wet Hot American Summer

And this barely touches the surface and doesn't include the many TV shows that are showing across all networks on both sides of the Atlantic.

So then, it's probably no surprise that all this new music has started to hit the airwaves and y'know what, some of it isn't half bad. I've started a Spotify playlist that features many of the new artists that are generating that retro sound - I've called it 'The New Retro', obviously. You can have a listen below:

There are many bands that are not on that list that the youngsters may not realise were inspired by the 80's, and many may not even admit to it themselves. I'm thinking The Blossoms, The 1975, The Decemberists, The Slow Readers Club and many many others. A list that I will revisit somewhere down the line.

In the meantime though, enjoy the ever expanding playlist above and check out The Midnight on YouTube as this links to many of the bands I'm talking about. Enjoy.

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