We really like Saturday = Youth. Like M83’s past work it’s really New Romantic, but the structures are less colossal. As we mentioned while discussing “Coleurs,” “We dig M83 the most when Gonzales is jetting through space-y epics that feel like they could implode at any minute, making the whole universe glow … We’ve only heard one track [from Saturdays = Youth], the smooth-as-the-milky-way ‘Couleurs,’ and it doesn’t sound quite as towering as the flickering, cinematic flourishes of 2005’s Before The Dawn Heals Us.” That remains true across the album: It’s more like ’80s teenage bedroom listening. “Kim & Jessie” specifically sounds like OMD, and the intro to “Graveyard Girl” is sort of related to the Psychedelic Furs’ “Pretty in Pink.” As is its video. We know Anthony Gonzales, aka M83, digs outsider girls dealing with their beautiful melancholy. Here, it’s a red-haired Ringwald pixie-type who spends a lot of time in a pet cemetery, scribbling in her notebook, reading poetry to the stones when she’s not at school, feeling left out (minus the one requisite friend who gets her).
You likely spotted nods to Some Kind Of Wonderful and half a dozen other John Hughes flicks. Again, no coincidence. Via the press release:
“On this record I wanted to have the feeling of a teenager mixed with this period of the Eighties,” Gonzalez explains … Main influences for the album are English bands such as Tears For Fears and Cocteau Twins, as well as classic John Hughes teen movies such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles (The red-haired Molly Ringwald look-alike on the cover is no mistake).
To realize his vision, Gonzalez enlisted the help of producers Ken Thomas and Ewan Pearson. Thomas, known for his work with Sigur Ros, Sugarcubes, Cocteau Twins, Suede and Clinic cut his teeth on outré acts such as Psychic TV and Alien Sex Fiend more than 20 years ago. Berlin-based British dance producer Ewan Pearson, who has worked with Tracey Thorn, The Rapture, and Ladytron, came on board to give this album its smooth, modern edge.
Smooth, modern. Our only complaint is that guest vocalist Morgan Kibby (of The Romanovs) doesn’t exactly sound 15, like she’s supposed to: “The cemetery is my home, I want to be a part of it, invisible even to the night … I’m 15 years old and I feel it’s already too late to live. Don’t you?” But then, most of the actors playing the kids in those John Hughes movies were hardly teenagers.
Saturday = Youth is out 4/14 on Mute.