The 2008’s 1980s.
Do you remember 2008? Though it feels like a lifetime away, it was only seven years ago. Just in case you don’t recall, it was the year of The Indie. And Australia. And the 80’s.
Please don’t ask me how such particular association came to be, because I’m not really sure. Maybe this Aussie New Wave was the natural heir to 2007’s Nu Rave, but that is just mere speculation.
Anyway. No matter the reasons, in the last two years of the past decade the Australian indie brought back the 1980s like you never heard them before.
I selected five albums that truly reflect this era. Well, maybe it’s quite pretentious to call ‘era’ a period of time that lasted a year at the least and two at the most. But it was a good time for those of us who love technopop, midi keyboards, big hair and lots of make up.
- Ladyhawke // Ladyhawke
IMO, the album of 2008. Ladyhawke’s debut album was critically acclaimed and even though she is not aussie but kiwi, New Zealand is close enough to Australia and it deserved to be featured top of my list. The 80’s vibe in this one is strong.
You might have heard ‘Paris is burning’ if you were around in September 2008. ‘Back of the van’ also got some radio rotation. All in all, a great album.
2. Cut Copy // In Ghost Colours
God, I love these guys. They capture de 1980’s spirit like no other. There’s quite a dreamy dark vibe to this album, or maybe it’s just me that got nostalgic *sheds a tear*. Cut Copy succeeds at creating a very special atmosphere, full of meaning an emotion. When released In Ghost Colours immediately reached the top of the Australian charts, and it was well deserved. ‘Lights and Music’ and ‘Hearts on Fire’ would play everywhere that spring.
3. Empire Of The Sun // Walking On A Dream
Empire Of The Sun’s debut album was released in early October and it was a huge success. Besides the quality of their music, Empire Of The Sun are performers: these guys sure know how to put on a show. I mean, just check the album cover: if you get to see them live expect awesome costumes, masks and make up. Now check the album cover again. Say, doesn’t it look just like this film’s art?
‘We Are the People’ is now considered a classic. Other hits include “Standing on the Shore”, “Half Mast” and, of course, “Walking on a Dream”.
4. Miami Horror // Bravado (EP)
Released in late 2008, Bravado features five upbeat, uplifting, dancey songs. Even though people really started talking about Miami Horror in 2010, when the band released Illumination, Bravado is a tiny masterpiece. If you wanna time travel to 1985 drop the DeLorean, play ‘Bellevue” and there you’ll be.
Also, I strongly urge you to check 2010’s Illumination.
5. Kylie Minogue // X
Maybe the Princess of Pop doesn’t qualify as Indie anymore, but she released an album full of 80’s vibes all the same. X is synth pop at its best. ‘2 Hearts’ was released as the lead single, but the actual 80’s frenzy starts a little later on.
From ‘Like a Drug’ to ‘Cosmic’, back to the front and front to the back, the party never dies. X also includes ‘The One’ and ‘All I See”, both beautiful tunes that you can slow dance to. My three personal favorites in X are ‘Speakerphone’, ‘Wow’ and ‘In My Arms’. Please please please check the videos of these last two, you won’t be disappointed.
And here’s an interesting fact: ‘In My Arms’ was co-written by the now mega famous Calvin Harris. Seems like Calvin was going through a huge 80s-like phase, with his single Acceptable in the 80s and all that stuff. No pun intended, I love me some Calvin Harris.
There’s also a great artwork to this album, and a lot of effort put in the overall concept. I had the pleasure to see X on tour, maybe that is why this record has such a special place in my heart. What an awesome show.
[Best read listening to: http://8tracks.com/agost/the-2008s-1980s ]