Cut Copy: I dreamt lights and music

Cut Copy´s new single "Lights & Music" is so instantly catchy and conforming to the "golden rules" of pop, that it should become a big hit...if we were living in a time where things like this would still exist.

Yes, the Video is a testament to the current wave of "no budget"-promos and maybe the "Be my baby one more time"-lyrics are a bit dodgy.
But it makes you want to dance and sing along like back in the day, when you were driving with your Vespa along the beach in Rimini, played PacMan in a seaside arcade while Fun Fun´s "Happy Station" was blasting through the speakers. But of course you never did all those things. You found "Happy Station" banal and would only appreciate its genious years later, when you recognized that Mel & Kim had more answers for you than Robert Smith.

Cut Copy are experts in mixing favourite sound memories to a catchy pseudo-hit formula. There are lots of references, citations, memories and interpretations in their music. They are actually better in creating mood and memory constructs that SOUND like pop-songs, than actually writing them.

In a liner note to one of their fantastic "So Cosmic"-Mixtape they note that their favourite "tracks stumble upon some sort of shared musical consciousness; a melody seemingly from the past which takes hold like a fond memory of childhood."

This shared musical subconciousness is of course firmly rooted in the decade that is on constant revival since it ended in january 1990. But while i feel that many bands, which refer to the 80s are mainly using a posture or aesthetic, Cut Copy are actually taking ideas, sounds and moods from their favourite moments and re-imagine them in their songs.

Its a bit like the character "Rachel" in "Blade Runner", a replicant with implanted memories, who wakes up and says: "I dreamt music!".

I guess that everybody who is old enough to remember the 80s will probably recognize most of the influences by name. Some Cure-ish guitars, New Order-esque basslines, Church-y vocal style, Human League, OMD, Italo-Disco, Electro-Funk and the ever present Daft Punk rhythm are the most obvious sources in their dance tracks while various shades of shoegaze and guitar-pop mark the corners for their indie-rock tracks.

But there is more. And this is where Cut Copy are tapping the subconscious minds of listeners of different ages.
20 year olds might not exactly remember the songs or sources, but they might recognize familiar sounds and moods: A disco-string-crescendo here, a familiar sounding voice there. Something you might have heard as a toddler while your mom was singing along to "Another Life" by Kano:

While I can identify the influence of Depeche Mode in their "Broken Frame"-era on songs like "Future" on Cut Copy´s debut album, other influences - like Krautrock- are as vague for me because I was only subconsciously subjected to it in my childhood.

It´s interesting that with all the references to passed eras their music does not sound like it could have really been a hit in 1983. Despite a crisp Chic/Dare/DaftPunk producttion sheen, their songs sound like they are from today. Unlike other dealers of fake nostalgia, like Air who wouldn´t sound out of place and time in the seventies.

This either proofs that Pop has finally eaten itself or that there just is no NOW now.

The very, very, very good "So Cosmic" mix can be downloaded on their blog cut-copy.blogspot.com. Its a brilliantly mixed string of influences and CutCopy songs. The way they integrated a Fleetwood Mac song into the mix is just spectacular!

1 comment:

thepickleanalysis said...

check out this lights and music remix.