[caption id="attachment_9599" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="M83 performs in Minehead, England, May 2009. Photo: Lucy Johnston/Getty Images"][/caption]
An M83 album almost always inspires a grandiose combination of nostalgia and wanderlust. "Midnight City," the lead single off of electronic dream-pop composer Anthony Gonzalez's forthcoming double-disc album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, not only succeeds in eliciting both, but paints a pop landscape for us to get lost in -- a hard thing to do these days. Here an alarm-like synth pattern echoes over lushly layered keyboard drones, syncopated drum machines, minimally driven bass kicks, and warped vocal loops. And then there's the sax solo.
Our first impulse is to revolt against era-themed kitsch, which is exactly what one might pin to the instrumental serenade (it's the type of interlude that can't help but bring images of the "Careless Whisper" video out from the dustier corners of your brain). Then again, the beauty of M83 is that his tracks are unapologetically "tribute." Gonzalez continually credits Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, and the teenage angst from John Hughes films as inspiration, and we'll certainly revel in those familiar '8os invocations. But if "Midnight City" is any indication of what to expect from the rest of the album, it's a place where lazy youthful reminiscences and nods to Molly Ringwald wrestle with cosmically-propelled embraces. [Download "Midnight City" here.]
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming arrives October 18th on Mute and features previous M83 collaborator Morgan Kibby and an appearance by guest vocalist Zola Jesus.