Break out your leg warmers and your fluorescent neon windbreakers, as it is time to go back to the ’80s. Well, at least return to the mental image of the ’80s that I have implanted deep in my mind since I am merely a ’90s baby. Since I never got to properly experience that decade, I’ll never truly know what life was like back then. I can only imagine but at least all the media reinterpretations (ala Stranger Things) and old photos give us a good idea of what it was like. But only seeing is one thing, experiencing it is truly something else and I never particularly thought that I’d have said experience, that is until today. I got to vicariously experience a taste of the ’80s and live it momentarily with Metrolight and their new self-titled album and you can too with Everything Is Noise‘s exclusive full album premiere down below.
Seriously, I never imagined myself getting so sucked into an era that I never experienced first-hand through a piece of music, especially something very reminiscent to what the ’80s is made out to be, neon colors and synth-pop galore. Ohio natives, Metrolight, are set to release their self-titled debut record via Tee Pee Records on October 21. As you can infer by now, especially when just taking a glance at the album artwork which you can see in the embed below, Metrolight are an ’80s synth-pop group living in the modern era. I will put it on the record that no, they aren’t stuck in the past but rather taking that aesthetic/trend and putting a modern twist on it, making for a musical experience that is both nostalgic and forward-thinking.
Metrolight‘s self-titled record pays homage to iconic artists from the ’80s, such as a-ha, Rick Astley, and Journey for example, all whilst expanding on that familiar sound with experimental flourishes across the board. The music is both cheesy yet incredibly tasteful and can stand entirely on its own. Even if the ’80s was rewritten entirely and had a completely different visual and musical aesthetic, this unchanged Metrolight album would still hold up as it isn’t fully reliant on that nostalgia whatsoever. Come to think of it, the music you hear on Metrolight is the musical vision of the future that we had in the ’80s. Think of whatever music The Jetsons were listening to and this would be it. Towards the beginning of the record, you’re drawn in with the familiar bouncy synth work and infectious choruses, but as you delve further into the album, the ’80s nostalgia loses its grasp on you and even then, you’re fully sucked into the entity that is Metrolight and that only.
I know I keep mentioning the feelings of nostalgia that this album provides, but I want to emphasize that Metrolight doesn’t solely ride the coattails of said nostalgia. What these musicians craft in their music is something that is entirely their own, it just has the added bonus of sounding as if it came from a long ago era back when times were simpler. While Metrolight has plenty of infectious bangers, ala “Beautiful Prisons”, “Stranger From Strangeland”, and “Asteroids” just to name a few, there are plenty of slow burner tracks that shift the focus away from catchy vocals and choruses to that of intricate instrumentation that paint a lavish neon-infused soundscape. “World’s On a Wire” and “Les Étoiles” are two such songs, with the latter especially sounding as if it was a means of communication with any extra-terrestrial life that may be out there. It is a gorgeously implemented palette cleanser that makes me wish for more music along those very lines.
After listening through this album a handful of times, there was something on the tip of my tongue that perfectly described the sound you hear on Metrolight that I just couldn’t think of. That was until I was staring at the tracklist and saw that the song that I was listening to at that moment was titled “Eurovision” and only then did it click. Although Eurovision is a song contest, the masterfully executed synthpop/disco/new wave fusion album is chockfull of worthy competitors; Metrolight already won in my book. Lucky for all the other European artists out there set on competing that Metrolight are an American group otherwise it’d be over before it began.
Until today, I never thought time travel was possible. Although this particular time travel machine has a broken time-o-meter that is stuck at 1983 and only lasts for just under forty minutes as radical and tubular as it is. Beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to time-travel, so I’ll use any means of mentally checking out of this 2022 hellscape. Metrolight drops on October 21, so be sure to check it out then if not now. If you have a moment, swing by their Instagram, Bandcamp, and website to stay in the loop of all things Metrolight.