Anachronistic music
December 12, 2012 1:46 PM   Subscribe

Looking for examples of anachronistic music.

I'm looking for examples of songs produced in the last decade that sounds astonishingly like 1970s or 1980s rock, new wave, funk, or pop.

I'm weak on examples, but stretching it a bit I might offer Crystal by New Order, which was recorded in 2000 or 2001 but sounds a lot like something that would have charted in 1989. Another example might be Whats In It For by Avi Buffalo, recorded around 2010 but some of it could probably pass for ~1978 Supertramp if a Wurlitzer electric piano was thrown in.

I'm not sure what kind of results I might get from this question, especially there's a lot of 1980s bands touring that still play their old style, and a ton of acoustic songs could pass for the singer-songwriter style of the 70s, so unusual examples would be best. I'm also aware that a lot of this might be in the head of the listener, and that's cool; I want to hear it all.
posted by crapmatic to Media & Arts (42 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Wolfmother strongly channels the spirit and sound of 70s Uriah Heep.

You mentioned that there's a ton of the singer-songwriter stuff, but Iron and Wine's latest stands out to me as distinctively channeling Dan Fogelberg.
posted by jbickers at 1:50 PM on December 12, 2012

My Morning Jacket's recent albums I think fit the bill (I'm thinking of Circuital and Evil Urges).
posted by iamkimiam at 1:51 PM on December 12, 2012

Anything ever made or mixed by Chromeo.

Also, Maroon 5 is making a pretty nice living sounding like Kool and the Gang.

Bruno Mars' latest single is pretty much a rip of The Police and he admits as much.
posted by JoeZydeco at 1:54 PM on December 12, 2012

Oh, and listen to Diamond Rings and tell me you don't see the 80's wavin' you back to the dance floor?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:57 PM on December 12, 2012

Goldfrapp's Album Black Cherry (sample) is very clearly doing a glam rock/late disco thing.

The French label/collective Valerie explicitly takes on the 80s synthpop aesthetic from top to bottom. A few bands from the label were featured in Drive, if you've seen it.
posted by griphus at 2:00 PM on December 12, 2012

Pretty much everything by Ariel Pink, but especially "Round and Round."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 2:03 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Forgot one more... La Roux sure sounds like old Depeche or Yazoo.
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:06 PM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by arco at 2:08 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Midlake's 'The Trials Of Van Occupanther' and Music Go Music's 'Expressions' are both examples of albums with a distinct 70s vibe.
posted by pipeski at 2:08 PM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Anything by Glass Candy sounds like early 80s/late 70s italo disco
posted by empath at 2:11 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Scissor Sisters deliberately evoke a disco-era sound
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:25 PM on December 12, 2012 [3 favorites]

Okay, you're going to think I'm nuts, but the Serbian entry for the Eurovision Song Contest was totally channeling the '60s. And it is SO good!

Caroban by Nina Radojčić.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:25 PM on December 12, 2012

Ancient Airs and Dances by Ottorino Respighi.

(I am reminded here of Richard Thompson's response to Playboy Magazine's request for nominations for the "top ten songs of the last millenium," which eventually led to his touring show and album, 1000 Years of Popular Music).
posted by mr vino at 2:28 PM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Cars released Move Like This last year, and it sounds astonishingly close to how they were in the 80's. The album could have easily been released back then, in my opinion. Nice, fuzzy synth sounds.
posted by Krazor at 2:41 PM on December 12, 2012

Check out the subreddit r/SoundsVintage. It casts a wider net but might have some of what you're looking for.
posted by brieche at 2:42 PM on December 12, 2012

This Spoon song sounds just like early-ish Billy Joel.
posted by batmonkey at 2:45 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

M83 sounds like mid-80s synth-rock to me.
The Darkness is somewhere between satire and tribute to 80s hair-metal bands.
I've been hearing a lot of 80s-revival sounds lately, in fact.
posted by adamrice at 3:01 PM on December 12, 2012

I came to say Destroyer too. Their last album does an amazing job simulating late-period Roxy Music.
posted by neroli at 3:03 PM on December 12, 2012

Bon Iver's "Beth/Rest" for sure.
posted by changeling at 3:09 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Craft Spells albums sound straight out of the 80s!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 3:25 PM on December 12, 2012

Ronika's musical style is really convincingly early-80s, even if she hasn't gotten much play outside of PopJustice. Her videos for Forget Yourself and Automatic are pretty good examples.
posted by bcwinters at 3:48 PM on December 12, 2012

Recorded a few years ago, J.D. McPherson's "North Side Gal" sounds like he's channeling his inner Little Richard.
posted by John of Michigan at 4:15 PM on December 12, 2012

Amy Winehouse. One of the reasons I loved her.
posted by bearwife at 4:15 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

The last 2 John Foxx and The Maths albums sound like they were recorded somewhere between '79 and '82.
posted by davebush at 4:17 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

There were a whole spate of bands in 2004 or so which sounded like contemporaries of Orange Juice, XTC or Gang of Four - Futureheads, Maximo Park, Bloc Party (I thougth for ages that Banquet sampled the Fun Boy Three) Hot Hot Heat. Dogs Die In Hot Cars were around the same time but sounded more like 10CC or ELO.

Gruff Rhys did a concept album about John Delorean which deliberately sounded like mid-80s pop. I always think of Black Affair and some of The Sleepy Jackson (there was a spin-off band whose name I can't remember right now) as being in a similar vein.

especially there's a lot of 1980s bands touring that still play their old style

New Order would fall into this category for me. Crystal would slot into the 80s pretty well, but it mostly sounds like a New Order record, rather than an 80s record.
posted by mippy at 4:19 PM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also, there are literally hundreds of bands striving to emulate the C86/Sarah sound. Tigercats sound very like late-period Orange Juice to me. I heard a band at my SO's house who I could have sworn were the Jesus and Mary Chain. Depends on your definition of 'pop', though.

Ladytron just fit into your decade cut-off - they started out being kind of Krautrock and then went electropop. Though like Stereolab and Broadcast, they emulate past sounds but in a way that sounds haunting rather than pastiche.
posted by mippy at 4:25 PM on December 12, 2012

Thanks, I am going to check out all of this... it also didn't occur to me that the use of retro synthesizers (like the DX7) might be one defining characteristic of this kind of music.
posted by crapmatic at 4:32 PM on December 12, 2012

Beck's latest album is going to only be released as sheet music - the instrumentation is up to the listener / performer. Simultaneously not exactly what you're asking for, and about as anachronistic as it's possible for new music to be.
posted by Mchelly at 5:23 PM on December 12, 2012

posted by saladin at 5:42 PM on December 12, 2012

Stone Axe has a straight out of the 70's sound.

Zombi has a retro instrumental prog thing going on.

I wouldn't call Eagles of Death Metal 70's or 80's soundalikes, but they have a "feel" that (to me) hearkens back to an era with more swagger. Likewise with sister band Queens of the Stone Age.
posted by usonian at 5:50 PM on December 12, 2012

The Killers definitely have an 80s vibe.
posted by Addlepated at 6:42 PM on December 12, 2012

Almost everything from Daptone sounds like it's from the 1960s or '70s because they want it to. It's deliberate, not an homage.
posted by fiercekitten at 6:58 PM on December 12, 2012

I think a lot of Fu Manchu's stuff sounds like 70's fuzz/van rock. Example from 2004.
posted by jessamyn at 8:54 PM on December 12, 2012

Every time I hear "Yesterday's Fire" by Moonface I briefly get excited/confused about the new David Bowie song before remembering that it's not.

Nthing Scissor Sisters. I've had more than one person think I was lying to them when I told them the Scissor Sisters album I was listening to was written in the past few years.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:36 PM on December 12, 2012

VHS or Beta sounds pretty much exactly like I remember 1985.
posted by scody at 1:00 AM on December 13, 2012

Howlin' Rain have the 70s California rock thing pretty much perfect.

Emeralds and Egyptology both do convincing versions of 70s synthy prog/John Carpenter soundtrack music.
posted by dudekiller at 5:47 AM on December 13, 2012

Josh Rouse's album 1972 is pretty evocative of the era to my ears.
Dawes is pretty much The Band, and there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by emelenjr at 8:00 AM on December 13, 2012

Jeff Tweedy's guitar solo in At Least That's What You Said has always reminded me of Neil Young.

A little earlier than the 1970s, but the Allah-Las have that 60s/early 70s less rocking Rolling Stones sound down, especially with the Mick Jagger-esque vocals.

Tame Impala has, again, that vague "psychedelic era" sound. But with more John Lennon mixed in than anything else.

Beach Fossils songs feel very 80s to me.

The Sword is pretty much Black Sabbath, minus the vocals.

The guitar parts and chord changes on this Starlight Mints album remind me of the Pixies.

Franz Ferdinand = Gang of Four; Interpol = Joy Division

And in a weird flip of your question, this song from the Midnight Cowboy soundtrack always sounded EXACTLY like a Stereolab song to me.
posted by RabbleRabble at 8:56 AM on December 13, 2012

bearwife's suggestion of Amy Winehouse reminded me that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings also has that old-school Motown sound.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:25 PM on December 13, 2012

The band Trembling Bells sound ridiculously like 1970s British folk rock (Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Steeleye Span), especially on their first album Carbeth (2009). For example: "Willows of Carbeth".
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 1:19 AM on December 14, 2012

Crystal Stilts sounds like Joy Division-ish post-punk in both their playing and their production.
posted by invitapriore at 1:03 PM on December 15, 2012

« Older Is there a website that provides a quick way to...   |   dr freud - dr. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.