I have a real soft spot for electro-pop. There’s something about the lilting melodies and crystalline synths that brings me back to summers riding around on Honda Sprees jumping from one pool party to another. Except I didn’t have a Spree and I was rarely invited to pool parties as an awkward dope in junior high. But I could imagine the soundtrack and wax nostalgic, even at the time.
French popsters proved to be masters of the genre with 2009’s Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an album so packed with perfect break-up/make-up songs that it became the soundtrack to bachelorette parties for two years.
And now the band is back with more of the same on their new album, Ti Amo. And like me, they’re in a nostalgic mood with a video homage to Italian variety shows from the 80s. I tweeted yesterday—largely in response to Ryan Adams’ continued obsession with glossy production—“If we’re going to emulate the 80s, can it least be The Smiths?” I guess not, but this is at least hummable and I can afford my own Spree now.
This is really cool, and I hope more and more bands do this. As a thank-you gift for their success following the release of their latest album, Phoenix is giving away the complete multitrack recordings for their breakout album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. The message is clear: Make your own remixes.
I just downloaded “Lisztomania” (zip), which contains 11 stems: bass, beat, brass, cocotte, guitar1, guitar2, guitar3, key, motif, trident, and vox. Don’t you wish you could get at this for all your favorite albums? Imagine being able to turn down (or off) the sax in “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.”
I had a very clear plan for Saturday. There’s a spot to the right side of the “PlayStation” stage (actually called the Petrillo Music Shell) that’s always been easy to worm your way into. You can get really close to the stage if you just slide right along the wall, so I had told my entire posse to meet there three songs into the XX‘s set. But once we made it inside, it was obvious this was not going to happen.
At three o’clock in the afternoon the entire north side of the park was filled to capacity. To make matters worse, the entrance from Columbus into the stage area was a parking lot of people. It should’ve been a walkway but nobody was moving. Everybody was just standing there, blocking the path, not moving. I’m assuming Against Me must not have any fans because there were at least 80,000 people crammed into the cement lot that surrounds the stage, packed tight as far back as the second set of light poles. If you’ve been to Grant Park, you know what I’m talking about, and you know how bad that must’ve sucked. It was worse.
Ever since our obsession with MGMT sparked a while back I have been listening to more dance-pop. I don’t know if that’s what anyone else calls this music, but it’s what makes sense to me. Phoenix meets the description.
Like their countrymen in that French dance-pop powerhouse, Vampirish have a thing for keyboards and disco beats. These dudes definitely get crazier on the freak-out sounds that have been wigging club kids out for the last 15 years or so, but there’s still a bit of pop sensibility here to keep my attention. Throw on some headphones and let the trippin’ begin!
The fine folks at the Fork have been uncovering all kinds of new music for you to check out. It’s hard for anybody to listen to everything. We handpick the stuff that might appeal to the GLONO reader…whatever that means. Listen for yourself and let us know what you think.
Here’s our latest roundup of the good stuff that Pitchfork has given up recently on their Forkcast: