My friend Dan Tollman in Los Angeles turned me onto this fun record. Tahiti 80's Fosbury opens with the uplifting 'Big Day', an almost retro-sounding pop song with a very modern sound. The lead singer's breathy voice remains soft and controlled with whisper-like qualities to it, and the rest of the instrumentation sounds kind of like a soft-rock record from 1974. But the great thing about this opening track is that it also has a contemporary aspect to it: like super-crisp (perfect) high hats and the kind of perfection and accuracy you only hear in digitally produced recordings. It's dance, yet chilled. It's very emotional at times. But most of all, it's very catchy and can pull you in if you let it.
There are retro-ish moments throughout the entire record with little splashes of sampling and digital editing to remind you that this was made recently. 'Here Comes', another fav of mine, almost sounds like the vocals were recorded in a completely different but complimentary key as the rest of the song. It always works perfectly, somehow. In fact, I am suspicious that these guys are using a lot of real interesting music theory and experimentation to write this stuff, given the unusual nature of the melodies. A lot of the songs also contain very dynamic, emotional climaxes, almost mimicking older soul. 'Matter Of Time' could almost be Motown, if not for the modern recording qualities of it. In some ways, that's what makes it fun - it's got old school vibe but a unique sound quality unlike the sound it mildly imitates.
Also interesting notes regarding Tahiti 80: The band is an English-speaking group from France made up of four multi-instrumental musicians (three that sing), meaning that on a given song, the instruments could be played by any of them - which gives their sound a lot of diversity. Their name came from a slogan printed on a t-shirt, in case you were wondering as I was.
If you are a producer or recording enthusiast, you should definitely give this one a spin with a good pair of headphones on. The production is extremely entertaining and well-done. If you just like to dance, then check it with headphones anyway...
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