About a year ago I acquired M83’s 2008 album Saturdays = Youth and almost immediately fell head over heels in love with it. I’ve mentioned in these pages before how I have a theory that music specifically – and culture in general – moves in a cyclical orbit. This is nothing new and I’m obviously not the first one to ponder this assessment. However, what fascinates me most about this idea is the rate of iteration: How fast/slow does it take for something to come back around again? For example, from our current view of history 80’s music seems far less obtuse and outdated than it did ten years ago. I have also mentioned here that I believe this is due to the fact that while the 90’s distanced itself greatly from its preceding decade it was shortly after the turn of the millennium that new, younger artists began to approach the sounds and styles of 80’s music from a new perspective, incorporating it into a hindsight that bridges the gap those of us who lived through it couldn’t see past. Bridging that gap works the 80’s into the present and sort of pushes the 90’s out of it, until it too comes around (within the next ten years is my guess) in a new form, enhanced and re-written by a generation removed enough to see the inherent “soul” of the era. Keeping all of this in mind, if there is one band now that fully encapsulates the era of the 80’s and all it entails – the final stage of that tender 50’s innocence that disappeared with the internet and idea of information available at incredible speeds; lush, dreamy pop music hinged on love and friendship more than lifestyle and name brands; and a dreamy, post-60’s worldview still filled with a child-like wonderment, it’s M83.
Saturdays = Youth seems to distill all of the archetypes and cliches of 80’s music into something new, something new that still has enough of the big, reverb-saturated drums and early generation synthesizers to trigger the emotional resonance that you get when you listen to Tears for Fears records or watch films like The Breakfast Club or Real Genius. Saturdays is a dark, dark album – a little dangerous, a little angsty and a little sad with nostalgia. But through all this it is deeply beautiful and perfect in its continuity as an album proper, rather than an anthological collection of songs.
And now there’s the tease above, posted on the M83 website recently, of a follow-up, something main musician/songwriter Anthony Gonzalez says will be an epic, double-album.
I can’t wait!!!
As for the North American tour, info on their website here: M83.
Gonzalez is an interesting sounding guy, and I’ll end this little rant with a snippet from an interview with him I found here: “I loved being a teenager,” says Gonzalez, who, at 26, only stopped being one seven years ago. “That’s when I discovered music and started to take drugs and party with my friends. I really started to discover new things. Nowadays I would like to be a teenager again.”