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Retro-pop in the year 2000

by Cris


Good music will always have a way of coming back and reviving itself every couple of years in the form of remakes and samples. But what I like the most is not the occasional emergence of my favorite songs from the past (like the umpteenth remake of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time”) or a snippet of familiar music embedded in a rap song (take your pick, there’s tons of them). It’s the new music that pretends that it’s not. It’s those period themed tracks from artists that just can’t let go of the past. Luckily, the indie music scene has a great selection of such, and what I have here for your listening pleasure, is my five top tracks – a good sampling of great music inspired by the 50’s to the early 80’s.

1. The Pipettes – Pull Shapes ( Download at eMusic | Buy at Insound )

The Pipettes follows the 1950’s girl group model of three female singers performing with matching outfits, backed up by an all-male band. In this case their backing band, The Casette, also follows the same naming convention of having their band name begin with a ‘The’ . If not for the subtle hint of a record scratch, you’d think ‘Pull Shapes’ was something from your grandma’s record collection.

2. Lucky Soul – Lips are Unhappy ( Download at eMusic | Buy at Insound )

This 2006 single from Brighton’s Lucky Soul sounds more like it came from the 1960’s . An upbeat track about being heartbroken, it’s is far from giving you the ache of missing your love. Instead, you get a mental image of Gidget and her pals doing the ‘Shake-Shake-Shimmy-Shimmy’ on the beach with Moondoggie. For girls, go-go boots and mini-skirts are a must when listening to this track.

3. Broadcast – Before We Begin ( Buy at Insound )

Before We Begin comes from the other side of the late 60’s going on to a bit of early 70’s influence – the era of trippy movies like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls or the equally far out Public Service Ads about drugs . Sweet, with a mix of psychedelic pop, Broadcast’s 2003 single, ‘Before We Begin’, is a lovely acid trip that won’t leave you screaming about murdered hotdogs.

4. Feist – One Evening
( Download at eMusic | Buy at Insound )

Yes, Feist dabbled in retro-pop – and this is the result. ‘One Evening’ is amazingly true to it’s 70’s roots that you’d think it was originally from that era.It’ll remind you of soft rock 1970’s ballads and even slightly of the BeeGees. Always a plus, Feist shows her whole range of dancing skills, up close, in the music video.

5. Sally Shapiro – I Know
( Download at eMusic | Buy at Insound )

Now we come to the early 80’s. Disco is ripe, and this is where Sally Shapiro draws her inspiration. ‘I Know’ gives you the best euro-disco that you can find in the early 2000s. Heavy on the electrobeats, this Swedish act gives you a hint of Abba and early eighties eurovision.