Today’s post is a brief but important ode to New Wave Music, and my intense love for it.
New Wave is a super broad term describing a style of music that is defined (by Wikipedia) as “a genre that is limited to acts that played a hybrid of punk rock and other styles during the late 1970s and early 1980s.” The article goes on to say “New Wave is often used to describe music which was quirky and eccentric, yet also catchy and pop at heart, incorporating clear melodious hooks. In such a way, its style varies greatly, ranging from 1950s and 60s rock revivalism, ska and reggae-styled music, to synthpop-oriented dance.”
I grew up absorbing amazing music through my too-cool-for-words parents (their wedding song was Billy Idol's "White Wedding." case in point.) Without full consciousness, I've been exposed to New Wave my whole life - My first concert in memory was the B-52s. However, my first fully realized New Wave awakening was when my dad took me to a Morrissey concert about 6 years ago. I sat there in awe as the palpitating melancholy washed over me. By the time he was lying shirtless upside down on the stage, I was ready to join the throngs of fans who had been rushing the stage.
I love new wave for lots of reasons – I love that it can sound so angst-ridden but so peppy at the same time. I love that it is the PERFECT music to listen to when you’re sad. Or Angry. Or ecstatic. I love that while the bands sing about heartache, confusion (and, lets face it, heroin...) all you wanna do is dance or sway or bop along - even if you're lying on the floor (which, by the by, is one of the best ways to listen to it). I love that through the pounding synth lies a supreme dedication to lyricism and melody.
Also, if you're into a more up-to-date dance-y feel, over the past 10/15 years, some great modern bands with new-wave and post-punk influence have emerged. The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Killers are a couple good examples of this.
And, if you’re looking for a taste of some fantastic original stuff, my personal favorite albums are The Smith’s The Queen Is Dead and Disintegration by The Cure. Also, you can check out this New Wave Playlist on Spotify that has a broad selection of music that’s a good little 5 hour introduction.
So on your living room floor, in your car, on your morning run, plug your headphones in and ride the wave. (The New Wave, that is.)