At 1980 – Late Night Calls Review
At 1980's brilliant sophomore release "Late Night Calls" dropped last week, and so far the response from fans has been amazing. "Late Night Calls" blew out the top spot on the bandcamp charts for retrowave - but also managed to scrape the sun with the
At 1980’s brilliant sophomore release “Late Night Calls” dropped last week, and so far the response from fans has been amazing. “Late Night Calls” blew out the top spot on the bandcamp charts for retrowave – but also managed to scrape the sun with the #6 spot in the USA iTunes Electronic charts too! This makes perfect sense, considering the powerhouse performances given by the duo behind At 1980 – Josh Dally and Adrian Quesada Michelena – both of which have worked in major synth projects many times before.
“Late Night Calls” features uptempo tracks like “California Nights,” “Hotel Crowne,” and “Caroline” that are instant classics with incredible hooks, solid melodies and a-grade vocals. But juxtaposed against those bright summer tracks are also meloncholic pop-crooner break-up tracks like “I’m Still On Your Side” and “We Were On Fire,” and also brilliant instrumental synth tracks like “End of the Line.” This range of compositions really makes “Late Night Calls” feel dynamic, and leads to a diverse retro listening experience that keeps pulling you back in.
A followup to At 1980’s debut album, “A Thousand Lives,” “Late Night Calls” features more of the same electric songwriting that pulls on your nostalgia strings, but this time with a bit less emphasis on the synths and bit more influence from 80s arena rock artists like Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams. All of these influences are melded with more modern pop sounds, creating an incredibly satisfying retro experience.
While “Late Night Calls” is still soundly a synthpop album, even containing a few entirely instrumental synth tracks like “End of the Line” and “Somewhere” (which are amazing in their own right by the way,) this subtle shift in tonality with the addition of more rock influences imparts an interesting update to the At 1980 sound – giving tracks a much wider, more anthemic feel – and arriving at that 80s nostalgia from a slightly different angle.
With these slight changes, “Late Night Calls” carves out a distinctly new retrowave (heh) feel while still retaining their established sound. Overall, this album is a great addition to their discography, building on the elements of their last release while also looking towards the future.