Retro Pop Revival – Liv Charette, Braulio Cruz, Ben Alexander, Needy Beast

  Liv Charette is infectious on her new single Red Flags White.  This juicy dance pop drips with indie sensibility and a touch of classic nostalgia.  It connects with pops reinvigorated 80s obsession, that same ethos that lifted recent mega hits by The Weeknd and Dua Lipa.  Undeniably modern, Charette updates the classic feel with production cues known to modern tech, employing build ups and atmospheres known to EDM.  It’s the insatiable rhythms that could draw comparisons to Gloria Estefan and Janet Jackson.  Like Estefan, Charette’s vocals are rich with strength, confidence, and conviction.  

  The artist admits that Red Flags White describes the decline in a relationship when “even though we know someone is bad for us, we brush it off and ignore the red flags, thinking it’s probably all just in our heads.”  Conveying this message with attitude and energy, the result is anthemic.  Red Flags White is a motivating break up pick me up to get you going.  It’s not surprisings its been celebrated by key Peloton personality Kendall Toole, who used a clip in a popular Tik Tok vid.  

  A stylistic shape shifter, Liv Charette’s catalog showcases a plethora of influence.  The Canadian Born, Nashiville based songwriter has flashed brilliance in Pop, R&B, and Country.  Red Flags White is a feel good, pro packaged hit that should cast a wide net.  With a hint of nostalgia, it recalls infectious 80s gold. 

  Hear Red Flags White now on our Best New Sythwave playlist.

Braulio Cruz (photo credit Julie O)

Braulio Cruz transforms robotic on the synth-tastic Motel 6.  A masterclass in analog textures, the artist employs an array of synth sounds on this dreamy space age release.  Intergalactic vibes are at the foundation of this design, as an all electronic arrangement alternates the indie-pop style songwriting.  Faintly familiar nostalgic chord movements recall new wave with an updated sensibility.  Motel 6 will clearly draw fans of 80s revival movements like synthwave, but the writing could just as easily draw similarities to Future Islands or Vampire Weekend.  Dressed in this synth heavy package and featuring robotic vocoder vocals, it recalls Daft Punk’s iconic Discovery period.

  Cruz admits he was inspired by Electric Light Orchestra’s classic Time.  Influenced by that initial innovative movement incorporating synth in song, including 10cc’s legendary I’m Not In Love, Braulio Cruz embraces the spirit of this distinct transformation in pop.  The 70s generated the first works that jumpstarted the timeless 80s.  

  NYC based by way of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian producer has been methodically dropping introspective works over the last five years.  The retro design of Motel 6 lifts the lyrical imagery.  Besides building rich electronic arrangements, Braulio Cruz is refreshingly poetic.  That songwriter goes deep, exploring themes of psychology, spirituality, homosexuality, and more. 

Motel 6, Cruz’s ode to coming to America, is as much about the journey as it is about the destination.  “We’ve been sedated by the art of pain.  Went to North Hemisphere to begin again.  Moment in the sun is here for you.”  

  Enjoy Motel 6, now on our Best New Synthwave playlist 

Ben Alexander

Ben Alexander caught our attention with his new single Run Away.  The energetic club ready hit shows 80s and 90s dance influences with modern indie sensibility.  Rooted in the classic synth pop of Depeche Mode, it picks up synth cues from 90s dance hit classics, polished off with an aesthetic that’s undeniably indie.

  Inspired by the works of Tame Impala and Rufus Du Soul, Alexander employs an emotive falsetto heavy vocal.  His passionate voice cuts above the intricate arrangement.  

  Run Away is innovative.  It draws elements of familiar pop into an experimental world.  Percussive textures recall works by LCD Soundsystem, as there’s a touch of post punk to this dance pop.  An electronic project at its roots, there’s clear lineage to EDM, but Alexander writes songs.  Drawing from a massive production palette he colors them with expressive intellect.  

  The Norway based writer embraces a hint of Euro influence, recalling the classic Swedish song machine and how it reinvented Pop.  Run Away should appeal to pop and indie fans alike.  An innovative design with a touch of catchy nostalgia grabs you out the gate and never lets you down. 

  Enjoy Run Away now on our Best New Synthwave playlist.  

Needy Beast

The cinematic musical prose by Needy Beast explodes with their new single Myself Again.  The glippy percussion intro draws similarities to the opening for Shout by Tears For Fears.  Coming out of the intro, the innovative groove fest erupts.  Dance sounds from the wells of 80s pop, EDM, and dance pop all have a stake in this design.  A choppy funky bass jams and jives around the infectious beat, as various catchy leads hook you.  

The sultry voice of Monica Salazar recites Frank O’Hara’s poem “Mayakovsky.”  In jest she delivers this tale of heartache with a hint of sarcasm, playing to it’s existential underlaying, reflecting the flat affect when all emotion has been drained.  When you give yourself to someone, sometimes there’s nothing left. 

The contrast of Needy Beast’s pumping arrangement presents like a celebration.  It suggests that when all is f*cked, might as well dance.  We’ve all taken respite in recklessness coming out of romance gone sour, its’ the first stage of healing on the pathway to finding ourselves again.  Colored in retro prose with nostalgic intellect, heartbreak never felt so fresh. 

  Enjoy Myself Again, now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist.  


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