In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence of musical elements from the 1980s being incorporated in modern music. From ambiance to percussion to synth progressions, the ’80s are coming back and we don’t really have a problem with that! Here’s our top 8 ’80s-inspired songs from the past couple years.
8. “Pretty Girl” by Hayley Kiyoko
“Pretty Girl” is atmospheric and inquisitive with twinkling synths spilling over hazy vocals, bubbly bass, and crisp percussion. The lyrical mood is shimmering and bright, curious and wide-eyed. There’s no doubt the styles of ’80s synth-pop played a hand in this glistening, fresh tune.
7. “If I Could Change Your Mind” by HAIM
HAIM, a three-sister act, revolves around glorifying the ’80s throughout their music. “If I Could Change Your Mind” hones in on strong female vocal delivery reminiscent of Heart (another sister act) and savory bass work coupled with flavorful electronic components to create something that could be nearly mistaken for a Fleetwood Mac piece.
6. “She’s American” by The 1975
The 1975 always had a clandestine taste for the ’80s, exhibited rather covertly in their self-titled debut when seen in comparison to their sophomore full-length, I like it when you sleep. “She’s American” oozes ’80s-esque themes and stylistic approaches through the invigorating percussion and the buttery synthetic ingredients tapered over misty sonant performances.
5. “We Are the Kids” by Walk the Moon
The glittery synths and sprightly guitar melodies join with a mischievous atmosphere to conceive “We Are the Kids,” a fun deep cut from Walk the Moon’s sophomore album, Talking is Hard, clearly persuaded by the ’80s. This song embellishes drum fills evocative of Phil Collins and it fits perfectly in the nighttime aura established by the indomitable songwriting.
4. “Night Drive” by Summer Camp
The synth-pop duo Summer Camp intertwines on the moonlight-bathed, aptly titled “Night Drive.” The astral angelic ambiance creates a heavenly listen for the ears, and the harmonious vocals add to the sense of togetherness found in the sparkling lyricism. Aspects of the ’80s vividly seep through to ultimately produce an entertaining song that is pleasant and celestial from start to finish.
3. “Dreamers” by Scavenger Hunt
“Missing You” by John Waite has some competition from Scavenger Hunt’s “Dreamers” in terms of lighthearted guitar refrains and perfectly infused electronic accentuation. “Dreamers” wears its love for the ’80s on its sleeve and embodies the dreamy libretto exhibited in the distinguished decade.
2. “Boyfriend” by Walk the Moon
While the lyrics are achingly cheesy, they are also clearly referencing cinematic staples of the ’80s, allowing Walk the Moon to coalesce the retro musicality with the eulogizing songwriting to forge “Boyfriend,” a playful display of enticement and wonder illustrated by alluding to ’80s movie scenes. While it is corny in more ways than one, it is a fun-loving jam that exudes the ’80s.
1. “Blame” by Heart of Gold
Heart of Gold is comprised of Michael McGough from the post-hardcore band Being As An Ocean. “Blame” subtly echoes Phil Collins by utilizing filtered husky vocals and glossy guitar cadences redolent of the ’80s. For McGough, this is certainly a diverse contrast from his typical musical work in Being As An Ocean, but we personally can’t get enough of this glimmering variety.
While these songs do largely reflect the ’80s, they also bring their own original color and attitude. This ’80s revival is spirited to not only incorporate styles of the renowned decade but also broaden and shape them into material that can still hold a footing in today’s modern era. The ’80s got a lot of things right, and contemporary music truly has plenty to learn from it as well as expand upon it. Let us know what your favorite present-day tunes are that consolidate principles from the 1980s!