My teen years were spent in the eighties. This was obviously before the internet, and the music discoveries were pretty much limited to what we heard on our national TV and radio broadcasters.
As a result of that, having a song featured in the soundtrack of movies and TV series was one very sought after way of achieving a hit record.
Here’s three retrowave tracks that I could totally picture being featured in a TV soundtrack back then. What kind of scenes do you imagine seeing them in?
Mapt, “Summer in L.A.”
This track gives me vague Mr Mister vibes. That big reverb on the snare, the synth arps, the big arrangement of the chorus…
But anyway. Back to topic. Had this been part of a soundtrack it would have to be a romantic, melancholic movie. Long fly-by scenes, silhouettes of ladies with big hair, neon signs, quiet early morning streets, and faces with an expression like they think real hard on something. With slow motion sunset scene, summer dress blowing in the wind during the chorus.
But all fun and games aside, this is a really good retro track. It has a very, very authentic chorus that could so totally be charting those days.
Manuel Marino, “Dream a Trance Music”
Alright, let’s get the title out of the way first: Say… What?
One could call this track a hybrid of 90s trance and eighties synth, but it definitely holds retrowave qualities: A pompous el-piano leading the way to an hurricane of a synth track. As for the “imaginative scenes the track could be featured in“, I picture this as the theme song for an American action crime series, featuring a cop who goes his own ways but with a heart of gold, who has as goofy friend and a dog companion.
Or a dolphin. They were like that in the eighties.
Solarrio, “In My Head”
We round up this vaporwave tripple run with Solarrio and his “In My Head”. The track sounds like it sums up something, so the credit text scroll at the end of the movie would be a suitable place for it!
But I can also imagine it during a scene where our hero, or perhaps a party of people, lays strung out in some hallucinogenic drugs, you know those cheesy “hippies scenes” from the eighties where the director really had zero idea on how the drug he described actually worked, and just blasted on with all the cliches imaginable, including rolling eyes and silly grins. And reaching hands. Always reaching hands.
Then the side kick enters the room and wakes up our hero with a couple of slaps on her cheek, and voila she’s totally sober again.
Good music triggers mental images. And these all triggers the right images for the sound they set out to achieve. Three great synthwave tracks that would have deserved to be featured in a suitable soundtrack back then. Or in the playlist of any eighties fan today!
These tracks are obviously added to our really quite spiffy playlist “More eighties than the eighties itself“. If you like what you heard so far, follow the list and keep track of new discovers as we make them!