This is Emarosa: a glittery zeitgeist of ’80s synth-wave roaming the halls of nostalgia.
If you think Scotts’ Jackson-inspired Yow! on breezy opener Preach is not a stalwart sign that you’ve traversed into the ’80s, then I don’t know what else to tell you. I thought the dreamy Peach Club in 2019 took the biscuit for best ’80s recalibrate but seems Sting has claimed top spot.
Bradley Scott and ER White are Emarosa; a sure-fire, crisp wisp of synth-wave pop that are everything Michael Jackson as they are Eurythmics, recultivating the wheel of ’80s pop mainstream all the while keeping it close to the modernity of soda-pop pop.
Of course, the neon sunglasses and party suits weren’t always a thing they donned. They were once weaving their hair across their foreheads and wearing all black, deep in the cruxes of emo-rock with their debut This is Your Way Out in 2007. A gritty chapter that wouldn’t otherwise of lasted the full mile, the boys have bravely stepped outside and renewed the bands’ vision. That vision has come about with hideously catchy melody lines, ethereal instrumentals and cathartic symbiosis between vocal and guitar.
Front three of Preach, Attention and Stay bring all curvatures to this album, bringing territories of Tears For Fears romance as a waiting for love that never really appears.. only when we least expect it. Yes, of course – we don’t wait too long before a trombone solo embarks its final descent in Stay – a solo that is far too short for my liking.
Cinnamon flexes on a modernity in pop that we’ve seen before with The Weeknd, a global superstar who has also seen the potential of tapping into a love-drunk nostalgia tap of ’80s electronica; eighties baby my love is religion / Who’s got you seeing the light?
While the hit singles bring a jive or two you can’t really help, the album starts to stall when it realises the singles alone can’t carry it the full journey throughout the 10-track slog. Again, however, remains in high spirits with a seemingly simply chorus but a highly deceptive refrain that is tremendously catchy – and equally addictive.
The love taps on the synth strings play again on Woman, certainly a change of pace as we hear real drum samples as opposed to tinny trap hats and 808s. The half-time shuffle and the call-and-response from the female backing vocals brings a new flavour to the duo’s sounds bringing alternative kids of today an understanding of true ’80s euphoria. Arguably, the greatest decade of music indention.
It’s an incredibly bold move to shed your former selves and move over to a completely new alternative world that is overwhelming with colour, lights and sound. What’s bolder is running with it and not doing things by halves, and really proving all those doubters wrong the love of pop-synth in an otherwise un-colourful world at times.
From the workers behind Cautious, this is Emarosa. Shed your own musical retina and throw yourself back to the 1980’s. Marty McFly says hello.
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