There’s a certain section of the alt-leaning crowd that has started to call for an end to this sort of thing. And by this sort of thing, I mean, or rather they mean, anything that looks or sounds like it might have been near a synthesizer in the last week. I can safely say that I am not in that group. Not only that, but I am slowly edging away from their wide-eyed fury; I’m already starting to wonder what distance I need to make before I can safely break into a run.
What I love most about the Ballet School songs that I’ve been listening to during the all-too-brief time I’ve known about them is that they render this whole “uh-oh more of that ’80s stuff” objection completely obsolete. Take Heartbeat Overdrive for example. It’s been described as “a sort of dream-pop meets R&B hybrid”; the brilliance of it is in the way that just as you ease into its groove it suddenly goes all Cocteaus on you, and just when you’re getting over that, it’s back to very soft rock/pop:
Lux doesn’t try to play the same game, but when you’ve discovered a sound this lush, best not to mess with it too much. It’s just beautiful pop music, frankly. And the best part is that Ballet School are not even a synth-pop band, but a guitar band messing with your head, making you rethink your ideas of what that should sound like. As singer Rosie Blair says:
We write pop songs. I never thought pop music was a lower form of art. We actively try to play with the model of mainstream pop against what indie is supposed to be and find our own new form. And though I love laptop pop, it’s vital that people witness our energy, that punk lust, when we play live.Rosie Blair