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New Genre Alert: New Retro Wave. Gawd, the Over-Produced Music of the 80s is Back.

In the endless parade of “everything old is new again” sounds, there’s an emerging genre that resurrections the production sounds and styles of the 80s. Although we’ve seen similar genres pop up–synthwave, retrowave, etc.–adherents call this flavour New Wave Retro. If you’re of a certain age, the sound of these new bands will evoke memories of that old cassette Walkman and watching Miami Vice.

Take, for example, The Midnight. Everything about this song–the guitar sound, the production, the DX-7 keyboards, the sax solo straight out of Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City,” the “In the Air Tonight” style drum break–screams 1984.

If this was your jam when you were driving around in your Chrysler K-Car or if you were born too late, fill your boots. This is precisely the kind of music that drove me deeper into the alternative world.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One thought on “New Genre Alert: New Retro Wave. Gawd, the Over-Produced Music of the 80s is Back.

  • I have to disagree. I really like this tune, and I’ve heard a lot more bands that sound like they were directly transplanted out of the 80’s, and a lot of very California-influenced, almost surfy music coming out today. This is the way things are going. This is actually one of the most least retro tracks I have heard lately.


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