Summer. Though a friend of mine recently wrote a novella on Facebook about how it doesn’t exist in Germany, it seems to be warming up more and more here as June rolls by. Moreover, the sun doesn’t set until nearly 10, extending my waking hours far past midnight, usually. We’re even going swimming this weekend. At any rate, it’s warm. And not that DC/NYC hot, including but not limited to: swamp-ass, profuse sweating while standing still and sticky people perspiring on you while commuting on the public transport (because that, friends, has happened to me more than once in my lifetime). No, in Munich, for now, things are hot, but not humid, breezy and just pleasant. Perfect weather for some electropop.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. I have time and time again written about more than a handful of musical genres. Of course, shoegaze and lo-fi bands happen to pluck my strings the most and are what I hope people associate me with. When the weather is the way it’s been for the last few days, however, I prefer something a little less prone to drive my thoughts inward, feeding not my introverted side, but the more unreserved Abby. Bright, synthesizer-laden music does the trick.
I have always had an affection for electropop/synthpop/call it what you will. 80s chart toppers like Erasure and Pet Shop Boys (especially) are favorites of mine, not only because listening to them transports me back to a more innocent time; the desire to shake my ass when listening to them isn’t a drawback either. “It’s Alright” is still one of my desert island songs. The PSBs never stopped and I find it fucking awesome. Look here and here to see what I’m talking about. And, of course while some may argue, one of my all time, top 5 favorite bands, New Order, certainly fall under the electropop umbrella. One word: Technique. Case closed.
I’ve been brushing the dust off some lovelies this week. Not only records from 25 years past (egad) but some released in the more recent side of life as well. There’s Cut Copy, Australia’s finest contribution to music since the Bee Gees, who a little over 3 years ago prompted me to pull my car over to the side of the road because I was so happy about what I was hearing on the radio. That said, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Brit crazies Baxendale.
Discovering them in London 12 years ago, I cracked out You Will Have Your Revenge last week and was immediately driven to hysterical laughter, yes, but honestly? This record has to be one of the best, pure electropop, irony-laden, bubblegummy offerings of Y2K. I write about them today not because I think my readers will like them…necessarily. I mention them because they seem to have disappeared from the face of the earth. I can find but two of their songs on YT and the little bit of research I’ve done – they aren’t worth breaking my back over really – uncovered very little of their whereabouts. If you know, please shoot me a note. Anyway, this always puts a smile on my face.
That’s that. As I lay in the sun tomorrow and dip into the pool, damn tootin’ I’ll be listening to some KORG-infested blips, drum machines and handclaps. Before you chortle to yourself with thoughts about how I’ve gone soft and am now listening to drivel, remember: your Blondes and Miracles Club records wouldn’t exist if fellows like Neil Tennant didn’t pave a golden, dancey path for them. Suck on that, hipsters. I love you.
[Abby's Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]