Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Sunset by The Midnight

It's curious that as I dig more and more into the synthwave movement (a little belatedly discovered.  Of course.  Then again, it's indie, so that's the point.) I'm feeling a little thoughtful about labels.  The synthwave stuff that is instrumental, down-tempo, and sounds like the backing track for some soundtrack of an 80s movie I get well enough—but there's quite a bit of it that has vocals.  What's the difference between this stuff and synthpop?  Sure vocal synthwave is more overtly nostalgic and 80s-influenced, but it's fair to say that synthpop itself is an 80s genre that hasn't evolved that much since it's birth in the 80s itself (or very late 70s if you want to get technical. It's generally accepted that the label synthpop first applies to the Ultravox song "Hiroshima Mon Amour" from their 1977 album Ha! Ha! Ha! and even more broadly to their entire album Systems of Romance from 1978.)

In any case, it's been quite a while since I opened up "on topic" blog posts to songs that were released since the 80s, as long as there was an obvious evolutionary link to the 80s synthpop that I started blogging about in the first place.  If synthwave doesn't qualify, I have no idea what does; it's arguably much more on topic than most of the stuff I've posted in the last few years as it is, since at least it's very overtly and blatantly retro-80s in style.  The vocal stuff is very hard to distinguish from synthpop; heck, I noticed on FM-84's bandcamp page that they even call themselves synthpop as a label.

The Midnight's "Sunset" is probably my new favorite song, though.  For now.  As they themselves say: "There is a Japanese term: Mono no aware. It means basically, the sad beauty of seeing time pass - the aching awareness of impermanence. These are the days that we will return to one day in the future only in memories."  If that isn't an expression of outright nostalgia on par with Bryan Adams' "Summer of '69" I don't know what is.  And the sound of the song, a dreamy, yearning, almost melancholic nostalgia (combined with the kind of soaring electric guitar solo that hasn't been in vogue since the mid-80s) is just absolutely perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me so much of the band Timecop1983. Nice find! Dave.