A few years ago Rex declared the 80’s music resurgence over. I’m not sure if this was just wishful thinking, or if he was responding to the development of acts like Surfer Blood and Animal Collective, whose influences were leaning increasingly towards the quirky, off-kilter melody-makers of the 90’s. (Either way, he successfully prophesied the appearance of Portlandia and reappearance of shitty boy bands.) And while it was true that the 80’s pop scene had been stripmined and recycled for all it was worth (“leg warmers are so over! Again!”), I am happy to report that there are still a few bands in twenty-twelve that aren’t ready to move on.
Ice Choir is a side project of Kurt Feldman, drummer for Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and unabashed 80’s synth enthusiast. Their debut LP, Afar, is nouveau new wave that could have just as easily been made by an opening act for Spandau Ballet or The Human League. Hell, it could be Spandau Ballet. Despite being more of a love letter to a Golden Era of pop music than a distinct new direction for an established musician (one of the record’s saving graces), Afar still feels less like an homage and more like a genuine trip back in time.
They’ve followed up last year’s excellent “Two Rings” single with eight more tracks, any one of which would work perfectly in that Electric Dreams remake you’re working on.
When he heard this album in my car, Isey assumed that it was a record from the 80’s. Twin Shadow is George Lewis, Jr., and he’s all over the internet remixing any and every dance song released in the last three years. Search for that YouTube video of you on the trampoline: there’s probably a Twin Shadow remix. He’s also found time to produce his second LP of 80’s-affected romance. “Five Seconds” is the first single.
I saw these guys open for Frankie Rose back when they were still called Dive (earlier this year) and had a hard time believing any of them were even alive in the 80’s. Doesn’t matter, of course, since any age is a good age to become Cure-obssessed. I mean, I didn’t even listen to The Cure in the 80’s.