At 1980 a thousand lives

REVIEW: ‘A Thousand Lives’ – At 1980

At 1980 – “A Thousand Lives”

Retro synthwave producers At 1980, who are responsible for one of this years best tracks, “In The Air“, have just released their debut album, “A Thousand Lives”. At 1980 is the partnership of Spanish producer Adrian Quesada Michelena and singer Josh Dally from Great Britain. They made their debut last year with the track “Northern” before releasing the future title track of this long player, soon after. Singer Josh was introduced to us on the single “Play It (On The Radio)” before the duo really made an impact earlier this year with “In The Air”.

“A Thousand Lives” is exactly what you would expect of a NewRetroWave release, it’s mid-80’s all the way but brand new in the 2020’s, and will attract those never even born in that great decade as well as those of us who remember it well! The album kicks off with the title track with vocals from Dana Jean Phoenix, who adds to the sparkly backing track as if it had just come straight out of a movie. “A Thousand Lives” is followed by the epic “In The Air“, which we reviewed when the song came out and still play it on a regular basis. It would be easy to say at this early stage that “In The Air” is the standout of this album, but let’s see what else is on offer…

“Missing You” is another lush 80’s cinematic offering with a powerful Bryan Adams sounding chorus and just when you thought “In The Air” was the absolute tops, then “Missing You” will further your interest in this duo with Josh’s gorgeous and heartfelt vocal a highpoint of this tune. “Have A Heart” offers yet more sublime sounds and striking chords for this Summery down-tempo anthem with an outstanding performance from Josh. “Oblivion” is an 80’s 32-bit instrumental that again fits in with those montage scenes we all remember from our favourite movies. The aforementioned second release from this album and the first to feature John on vocals, “Play It (On The Radio)” is next and is perfect for a drive along the coast road with the roof down with the sound turned up to the max!

More subliminal and sexy sounds next with “Now”, one for the last dance of the night and with that added sax over the middle-eight, “Now” boasts the line “I gotta take my life and live my youth”, something all of us still do 35 years later, like every day is still 1985! Josh returns for his last sing-song on the next track, the vibrant “Drifting Away”, which raises the pace and beat immensely. And it’s welcome as the tone drops for “Run Away”, which features the vocals of French singer, actress and artist Camille Glémet. “Run Away” is a simplistic in its approach but understated in its execution and Camille proves more than a worthwhile add on. “A Thousand Lives” perfectly concludes with the feel good factor instrumental “Neon Sun” and brings to a close this superb first long player from Adrian and Josh that will be of essential value on those long hot days and teenage dreams from far away.

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So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!