Review of the album Late Night Calls from 1980: Redial this immediate classic.
AT 1980 have cemented their place in the synthwave industry with a stunning album that doesn’t pull any punches or falter in any way.
1980 is a relatively new band in the synthwave genre, yet its members are anything but. The pair consists of acclaimed music producer Adrian Quesada Michelena and his collaborator, Josh Dally, a Brit known for synthwave who has collaborated with legendary artists such as Timecop1983 and FM-84. Late Night Calls is the duo’s follow-up to their 2020 album A Thousand Lives, an emotionally intense exhibition of creativity and passion.
Late Night Calls is almost impossible to categorize merely as a synthwave record.
Throughout the album, there are echoes of the singer-songwriter/indie band roots in practically every tune.
The majority of them are accompanied by guitars and percussion, bringing the sound to levels that few other musicians in the genre have attempted.
In the blockbuster openers Maria and California Nights, this is never more clear.
In a breathtaking chorus, the former asks for a reunion with a lost love, which needs to be played in the middle of the night with a teenage crush.
California Nights contains one of the most beautiful choruses you’ll ever hear. Aside from being evocative and catchy, every aspect of it has a faint outrun nostalgia – as is essential of any synthwave artist – but with a completely different vibe.
That isn’t to suggest that the genre’s cliches aren’t present; Late Night Calls has them all.
We Were On Fire is a tearjerker of a song that fits well with Late Night Calls’ party hits.
Near the climax of the song, Dally’s incredible vocals break through, and a saxophone solo propels the song into legendary status. This is a track for the ages, and one that should not be overlooked.
Late Night Calls is fantastic because it takes the time to examine many aspects of Dally and Michelena’s work.
In Your Eyes, for example, demonstrates a truly remarkable combination of songwriting skills.
Still On Your Side is a straightforward ballad with a basic piano backdrop and more care than some synthwave albums. Dally’s vocal is beautiful, and the production by the duo is excellent. It is imperative that it be heard. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”