Tag Archives: Talking Heads

New Wave Morning

Do you ever happen to hear a few songs in a row that all fit together, like the universe has created a playlist for you? That happened to me this morning.

Many mornings, I get coffee from a place near home that I like to call “Hipster Coffee”. They don’t serve chai (but other teas are okay), their WiFi never works, and their outdoor benches are full of retired 30-somethings. (Although, let’s be honest, I like this place enough to buy coffee there a few times a week. The baristas are nice and the coffee is good.) I’m always interested in knowing what record they’re listening to. This morning it was the Talking Heads album Remain In Light. The 1980 hit “Once in a Lifetime” was playing when I walked in, setting the scene for a new-wave morning.

After I got back into my car, KEXP played Tame Impala’s “Let It Happen”. It’s from their July 2015 album Currents. That track has been getting a lot of play on KEXP, and I have to say, it has grown on me quite a bit. Its sound lies at the intersection of ’70s disco, ’80s new wave, and current house music. KEXP plays music from all different decades on various media, so when I first heard it, I wasn’t sure whether I was listening to something old or new. Then, in the middle of the song, it started glitching out like a badly-scratched CD. I’ve heard CD skips that station before (as recently as this evening), usually followed by an apologetic DJ frantically digging for something else to play. I expected to hear that sort of interlude, but instead, it came as a shock to realize (spoiler alert?) that the skipping-CD-sound is actually part of the song. A warm entrance in the low strings brings a nice contrast to the digital CD-skip sound. The glitch then gets worked into a new groove to finish out the song. I encourage you to listen to it, though anyone who remembers the ’90s will have to fight the urge to stop the imagined CD player to clean it.

After that, KEXP played Cut Copy’s “Lights & Color” from their 2008 album In Ghost Colours. It has that same new-wave sound as the others in my mini-playlist. It was fun to hear how three songs written over the course of 35 years fit together so perfectly.

For your listening pleasure, here are all three songs.