By Kariann Tan
As we all might have noticed, there’s been a relatively large resurgence of synth-laden instrumentals and clean, crisp production over the past few years or so. One might say that hip-hop is going through its golden age right now – which I won’t disagree with at all – but I think that it’s also fair to mention that 80’s inspired indie pop has been going through one of its most cohesive eras yet. And boy, has it been a great handful of years for upcoming bands/artists following that sound! Here are a couple of artists and songs that you should absolutely check out if you are interested in delving into a world of nostalgia:
The soft, almost silky opening bars are almost enough to capture your attention. That is, until Shura’s Madonna-esque vocals opens the track – perfectly enrapturing you with what it probably felt like to be a teen on summer break in the 80s. It’s a wonderfully written ballad questioning the struggle after an egregious breakup (Is there something that we could’ve said / Would it have made a difference?). “Make It Up” is almost criminally underrated, despite its fantastic production, and it stands as one of the strongest track in Shura’s debut album.
Released a year after his debut single “Sister of Pearl,” Chris Baio returns to the indie-pop scene with a buzzing track reminiscent of a good time back in the mid 80s. The song, complete with a nifty hook and a particularly catchy introductory beat, provides a great distinctive sound that one might not expect from Baio’s original band, Vampire Weekend. It’s a fantastic throwback single, and definitely one to not miss from this list.
Struggling to cope with the lack of new The 1975 music? Worry not, this track and this band pretty much covers your daily dosage. The track kicks off with an introduction that is all too similar (in the best way) to “She’s American” or “Chocolate” by The 1975 and man, is it catchy. It’s the perfect song to jam to while cruising down the highway under the sun. We would probably be lying to you if we said that we haven’t jammed to this more than a handful of times.
Influenced by a wide array of artists – namely Prince, Beck, and Earth, Wind & Fire – “Studio City” is a fine track that showcases what a band can do if they combine the sounds of several different subgenres, which, in this case, is a slew of funk and discotheque vibes. If you dig funk-infused, groovy synths, this track is certainly made for you.
Shiny. Shimmering. Dreamy. These are the sensations pouring out of this synth-imbued piece by an up and coming producer and singer, Marius Lauber. If you’re looking for a Tame Impala-esque bassline fused with dream-electronica reverie, then you’ve definitely found your match with this artist and his debut album, on which the track appears.
Missing that sweet, summery feeling that came along with Carly Rae Jepsen’s Emotion? Look no further! This track by the 26-year old Toronto vocalist will woo you with the notion that life should be lived insouciantly (I’m gonna love me for the rest of my days / Encourage the babies every time they say). The chorus captures that feeling of summertime, carefree and untroubled, flying down an empty road on a sunny day. This track has been making the rounds very frequently on our Spotify and is definitely something we’d recommend chucking on your summer playlists.
This playlist would be incomplete without Hoops on it. This band’s new sound is even more impressive considering how far they have come from their YouTube days in 2015, when their EP, Tape #2, was released. It’s almost essential to add one of the songs from their recent album, Routines. The track we picked is “Sun’s Out,” a short but sugary production whose title and sound both perfectly capture summer-y nostalgia.
There you have it, seven flawless tracks that are guaranteed to take you back to the 80s. Don’t fret if this left you wanting more; there’s a whole trove of music in this genre for you to discover. This sound has been making waves within the mainstream audience and charts, and we doubt it’s going away anytime soon.