There are those who dismiss the 80’s as just a decade of Thatcherist deconstruction of society, yuppies and shallow upbeat synth pop. But anyone who even scratches the surface even just a little will find there was far more than that. However, it cannot be denied that the 80’s were key in the development of the synthesiser. As the technology got cheaper more artists embraced it – and just like any genre there were fast songs, slow songs and mid-tempo songs. There were songs that had deep meaning and there was stuff that was throwaway. There were songs about love and songs about heartbreak. Just as there probably always will be.
Which brings us to Scout. On their (or is it her?) debut single Never Fade Scout strongly references that synth pop; the sort of lush, cinematic glossy electronic sound that comes from the same 80’s family as Berlin’s Take My Breath Away. Lyrically it’s definitely in the sad-pop-heartbreak arena; after the break up and the misery comes the difficulty of disconnecting from the memories: “Every little thing reminds me of your face.”
It’s not just 100% retro though, the song itself has a very modern structure – the vocal delivery has hints of a downbeat Charli XCX and I could easily imagine Chvrches putting this in their set and nobody batting an eyelid. Scout is not totally new to all of this; in 2015/6 they were working under the name Kid Wave, a much more guitar-based project. You may remember the track Wonderlust which gained some decent traction.
What comes next remains to be seen, but a debut EP is promised. If it’s as dreamy and sad as Never Fade, count me in. Let’s get ready to wallow in someone’s unhappiness.
Scout - Never Fade