Each Passing Year

It’s been said the spoils of age become apparent when the past seems idyllic, the present incomprehensible and the future a reason for fear. Simon Reynolds has written a whole book on the subject “Retromania”, all 500 pages of it,  on how popular music is addicted to its own glorified past.  He throws in a lof of examples of retro compulsion; La Roux’s 80s synth infused sound, Gaga’s ‘trying to re-invent the wheel’ Madonna aspirations (OK, that was me) and even the folk infusion of Crosby Stills and Nash on the Fleet Foxes guitar laden ballads. We’ve all seen it and heard it, what I fail to grasp is, why should we disapprove of it? Hasn’t music all eternity plunderd the past for inspiration and influence? Reynolds seems to hark back to his own glory days of the early 80s when bands locked themselves up in basements and emerged blinking into the daylight with two new quitar riffs and a modish attitude, ready to lead on the rock revolution of the neon decade. And I was there. And it was exciting, new and mind blowingly fabulous, simply because we were young. It is blatantly unfair to claim young artists have lost all sense of innovation in favour of ripping off the golden oldies on Youtube. Reynolds may be perplexed by the present but I suggest a visit to the WoonBlake frequency of now to alleviate those fears about the future of popular music. Midnight Lion, two twentysometings from Glasgow, have released a debut single so Tears For Fearsingly Simple Mindsy it offers a bitter-sweet nostalgia trip for the 80s generation, whilst keeping one foot deeply rooted in the electronic pop of 2011. Above all, this is now.


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