16 October 2013

the movement || betty who || 2013

This delightful EP accomplishes something that many other works in today's scene fail to: It's clearly inspired by mid-'80s synthpop without sounding like a derivative replica of it. The tracks aren't crafted to trick the listener into thinking they're undiscovered '80s tracks (only one song has ever pulled that off). They are undoubtedly modern and in tune to the desires of the ears of 2013, but with a glowy sheen that is radically retro.

Though I love all four tracks, I go right to "High Society" as my favorite. Musically, I'm reminded of Simple Minds, Level 42, even Scritti Politti: A mid-tempo drum-driven track with supporting warm synth lines and flawless vocals. The infectious refrain of "chardonnay / through the day / 'cause we say so" will pierce your brain on the first listen and will remain with you for some time.

"Somebody Loves You" was apparently the breakout hit thanks to a viral video of a wedding proposal, but I actually learned of that after hearing this EP in its entirety. With its radio-friendly length of three and a half minutes and its relatable, saccharine subject matter, it's easy to see why this was chosen as the single.

As a lover of '80s music and modern retro alike, I can say with some conviction that Betty Who nails a sound that very few acts have over the last several years. This EP should appeal to all pop music fans, and probably most indie rockers too.



J. J. said...

This reminds me of another recent album: Ultramarine by Young Galaxy. The Movement definitely has a more "glowy sheen," but both capture that 80s synth that's becoming more and more common in the 2010s.