Retro Pop Revival – Enoch Porch, Hush Bewlay, Raymond Revel, Jeffrey Chan

Enoch Porch delivers on the inspirational Change.  The artist captures an elusive vibe in the world of retro pop.  He’s able to capture the authentic feel of sentimental 80s classics by artists like Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel.  In part its attributed to his ability as a songwriter and arranger.  Change evolves like a classic composition, with variation that displays an attention to his craft and an understanding of what makes a song captivating.  The slow burn into the songs upbeat outro never drags, rather it wraps you in a sonic blanket that calls you to nestle in its warmth.  It’s attributed to the sweet sonic choices.  A soft electric piano encompasses the atmosphere as a bass synth patiently marks each changing chord.  The guitar playing recalls the unassuming retro works of John Mayer, though Enoch Porch is considerably more wave than Mayer’s crossover New Light.  

Change should please most fans of indie pop, and automatically welcomed by the retrowave community.  A solid 80s style throwback that’s singular as a composition, it connects with synthwave classics by Floret De Vin and The Midnight.  Enoch Porch admits he was raised on a restrictive diet of classical vinyls and Phillip Sousa.  You can probably review his parents entire collection at your local thrift store.  Coincidentally its the same music that bred those timeless 80s classics. Coincidentally,  Enoch Porch was raised on the same music as the founders.

See for yourself, checkout Change now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist. 

Hush Belway

Hush Bewlay is a musician who lives and swims in LA, California.  It’s a simple sentiment that serves as his description on Spotify.  Though the suggestion seems straight forward, the musical design of his new EP I’m A Stranger Here presents inspirational complexities.  Beautifully produced and melodically entrancing, the slightly dark-new-wave-pop of the opening track Stranger hooked us out the gate.  At the heart of Hush Belway’s appeal is a consistently convincing lead vocal, full of the attitude and swagger that made post punk sexy.  It’s a bit of INXS and Depeche Mode with the indie sensibility of Future Islands or The National.  It even projects shades of Bowie, which makes sense considering the artist took half of his name from Bowie’s infamous Bewlay Brothers.  

Like Future Islands, Hush Bewlay adapts retro vibes within a modern indie sonic landscape.  He wears his influences on his sleeve, like on the Springsteen-esque Every Living Thing Adores You.  Springsteen just doesn’t get enough credit for his contributions to 80s pop.  His influence on modern icons like War On Drugs and The Killers bodes well with Hush Bewlay, who should please fans of both projects.  

Hush Bewlay is most complicated on the experimental jam Emulator.  He embraces the spirit of Tubeway Army and those initial innovators who used electronic instruments to evolve popular music.  

The first 3 tracks are straight up hits.  They are each proper singles with mainstream indie pop appeal.  They come NPR ready and should please fans of the aforementioned comparisons and associated acts.  With the closing number Hush Bewlay offers a glimpse into how an album might progress.  The Cathedral Swings is an immersive trip into the artists auditory dream world.  

The whole album slaps, we’ve included both Stranger and Emulator on our Best New Synthwave Playlist 

Raymond Revel

Raymond Revel isn’t shy to suggest he’s Nowhere Close To Famous.  The title of his new single, it might sound like a downer, but Revel brings an upbeat clever twist.  Lyrically it’s clear that Revel is relieved he isn’t paparazzi level famous, and he’s probably in the right.  Not everyone hates being famous, but most stars admit that they comes to resent it.  You don’t have to dig too deep to find superstars going out of their way to blend in and appear anonymous. 

Revel dresses his poetic tale of relief in an infectious retro package.  The melodic appeal is serene, but its the percussive details that really grabbed us.  Both the drums samples and a lot of the synth choices are percussive by design, adding melodies with percussive textures.  It’s a classic nostalgic design that never gets old.  

Revel’s a strong singer and a solid lyricist.  He dips in and out of his falsetto effortlessly, flexing his impressive range.  

A recurring theme among breakout artists is that the best of times are when you’re still chasing your dream. Revel touches on it with the line “I’ll always keep on chasing, and I’ll always love the view.” 

Despite his humble nature, Revel has some impressive stream numbers to date.  With catchy appeal he should be on the cusp of stardom.  Nowhere Close to Famous will connect with the synthwave community.  He brings the charm of mainstream acts like Death Cab into the wave world, dressing the new single in the style of synthwave faves like FM-84 and Michael Oakley. 

Dig into Nowhere Close To Famous now on our Best New Synthwave playlist  

Jeffrey Chan

Jeffrey Chan is refreshingly honest on the revelatory Over.  The song is a catchy retro dipped jam on its own, but paired with the video it communicates a deeper meaning. 

Alternating between scenes in a classical cubicle style office and choreographed neon glamour shots, the music video for Over hits like a classic 80s montage.  It has all the charm and sincerity of mega movies like Maniac and Footloose.  Chan is equally captivating, busting with energy and corporate angst.  He shares that classic 80s aura of wanting to break out of acquired social norms, away from the burden of social expectations.  It’s that same vision that catapulted mega hit Dirty Dancing. A fire inside that drive you to DANCE.

It’s an awareness, an awakening that fuels Chan and the dance routine in Over

“Was it only like this when we touched, I guess we couldn’t live up to the rush, and now that its over, I’m finally sober, I guess that it’s over.”  The lyrics suggest It might be more than the corporate machine that causing Chan to lose his mind.  Like a lost romantic, deep desire and the experience of incredible satisfaction leave him wasted. It’s now impossible to enjoy the pursuit of monetary success knowing the most enticing pleasure eludes him. 

We got lost in Over’s thematic offerings, but its also just a straight up bop of a pop hit.  It was the spirit of 80s dance hits with a hint of modern electro pop and EDM.  It connects with synthwave projects like Sebastian Gampl and The G, who make undeniably authentic pop gems. 

Dig into Over now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist

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