Strangers

I love pop music. I always have. There’s something alluring about those catchy hooks that showoff and shimmer in the sunshine. Those toe-tapping beats and crisp vocals that manage to brighten even the dullest of days. They’re exciting. They make you feel good. And they have the power to put a smile on your face in a matter of seconds.

That said, it makes me feel weird. Why should I enjoy bouncing along to a something that is so often considered to be shallow and superficial? Should I feel guilty for enjoying this song..?

Personally I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. You like what you like. Now I’m not saying that I enjoy listening to all types of pop music. A lot of songs are terrible. And most of the people who advocate the genre are equally as bad, if not worse. I’m just letting you know that I think it’s ok to sing-along with Taylor from time-to-time.

Bands like HAIM and The 1975 have further bridged the gap between indie music and the pop machine. And I think that’s a good thing. I’ll forever maintain that both these groups are great. I’ve been lucky enough to see them early on. And on each occasion I walked away from their performance with a grin on my face, their songs in my head, and a genuine feeling that they were, “the best band I’ve seen in a long time”.

Today I’ve found myself listening to the same album on repeat. It’s airy. It’s full of simplistic lyrics. But it’s great fun.

It’s by the US remix artist RAC and it’s called Strangers. I say “remix artist” because they are known for rearranging songs and performing them live. Not as a DJ, but as a four-piece band. I guess you could call them a cover band. Accept they’ve also got some songs of their own.

Take the opening track, ‘Let Go’. It’s an upbeat, disco-infused tune that’s full of energy. There’s pulsing bass lines and handclaps-aplenty. It’s perfect festival music for drunken dancing with friends. Oh, and it also features guest vocals from Bloc Party‘s Kele Okereke and Amanda Warner from the electro duo, MNDR.

Have a listen for yourself and try telling me that it’s not infectious…

Now more than ever, at the tail end of summer, pop music has the capacity to evoke the memories of sun-drenched afternoons spent with friends drinking [insert your favourite thirst quenching, ice-cold drink here]. And remember, as you grasp onto the last fading moments of your school holiday, trip abroad or festival experience, there will be a song out there that’ll remind you of it forever, and it’s probably a pop song.

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