We love artists and bands who are unabashedly retro. Musicians who want to re-live eras that gave us some of the best songs in history and share what they’ve reinvented. Some of these artists have gone on to create some of the best albums we’ve heard over the past three years, such as Natalie Prass, Springtime Carnivore, Benjamin Booker, and Leon Bridges.
Reinterpreting the ’80s, though, might be the most challenging era. It was a decade which saw the most change in music as new technologies emerged and the people were moving away (and some would say recovering) from the disco-dominated late ’70s. Punk music, rock ‘n roll, synth-pop, industrial, and new wave were starting to gain traction. It was a time of immense creativity, which also resulted in polarizing people’s views of the era. For some, it is one of the great eras in music history. For others, it’s the worst.
But then you come across a band like Diary, four guys in their twenties who weren’t even old enough to really live through the heydays of Culture Club, Bananarama, Howard Jones, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Duran Duran, Poison, and so many others. Despite their ages, Diary is recapturing some of the most memorable moments of the ’80s and making it sound not just listenable but terrific. Today, we are immensely pleased (and really excited!) to be premiering Diary’s brand new single, “What’s That Sound?”
There is so much to like about this song. First, the title is so appropriate, as it’s drenched in both irony and the obvious. Second, it is a reminder how a lot of the songs of the early ’80s may have been soaked in melodramatic stories but the music was sublime and often breathtaking. “What’s That Sound?” drips with the lush vibes of Spandau Ballet; the cool, catchy pop-rock of The Thompson Twins; and the brilliant shoegaze of pioneers Ride.
The best thing, however, about this song is that for us older folks it helps us recall an era of innocence and that feeling of invincibility. The music at that time helped define us and the independence we sought. It wasn’t just music we listened to for entertainment; it was music to which we could relate. Every song described our deepest emotions and the predicaments we encountered. The songs were our stories, and Diary have helped recaptured that with this terrific track. This time, though, “What’s That Sound?” is a song for a new generation while Generation X’ers and Y’ers get to revisit the past. Maybe the ’80s weren’t so bad after all?
“What’s That Sound?” is part of the band’s new split single, which includes “Juniper Says”. This is also shared below. We dare you to play this at a retro party, and we guarantee you that at least one person will say, “I remember this song. What’s it called again?”
Diary are Kevin Bendis (vocals/synthesizers), Andy Brienza (guitars), Chris Croarkin (bass), and Will Banyard (percussion). They’ll be playing a number of gigs over the Spring, and their next show is on Monday, March 21st at Palisades in Brooklyn. Check their Facebook page for future dates. A bit more background on the band is provided after the audio.
Brief Background on Diary
Diary was started in early 2015 as the brainchild of Andy Brienza and Kevin Bendis. They began writing guitar-pop songs with an amalgam of of their favorite post-punk, new wave, and college rock influences (i.e., Echo and the Bunnymen, The Cure, Tears for Fears, Deerhunter) in mind. Later in the year, friends Chris Croarkin and Will Banyard joined the group to help fill roles as bassist and drummer, respectively. With over an album’s worth of material, the group began playing its first shows this January 2016 in and around New York City. Diary is spending time in the studio this March, to begin work on a new EP, which should see release sometime this summer 016.
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