One running theme that has become very evident over the years has been the emergence of retro sounds, especially from the 80s (constant readers of this blog just nodded their heads slowly in agreement). One caveat…most 80s-influenced artists generally stick to the mid-to-latter part of the decade, completely ignoring the much more interesting earlier part of the decade. Thankfully, the newest release from French pop artist Wilelmina, the charming “Only Swans See”, definitely bucks that trend.
“Only Swans See” is a really cool slice of the new wave that has some of the coolest synths sounds you’ll ever hear (seriously…sounds like the best of Iceworks’ gear). The first few notes especially set the course for what is to come, a sparse production with some really nifty tricks to really stand out from the pack. Wilelmina comes off as a female Bryan Ferry (during the art-rocker’s 80s period) in all the best ways one can imagine, her silky smooth vocals adding an extra dose of panache and class to the proceedings. That synth solo from around the 2:20 mark is a definite highlight…too often in these types of songs, one hears the exact same presets…thankfully not the case here.
Seriously, this is an excellent song featuring the deceptively simple beat mixed with energetically quirky vocals, and a truly excellent production. Imagine if Videoclub was produced by Prince…that’s the level of quality we have here. This isn’t your daddy’s retro wave, folks….if the artwork of the tennis player wearing pink boots next to a comically oversized moon didn’t give it away, the general quirkiness of the song definitely will. Either way, this is an absolute musical treasure that belongs in any synth-pop fan’s collection. Highly recommended.
Listen to "Only Swans See" on Spotify here -
You can check out Wilelmina’s website here: