Is life a struggle? Does brushing your teeth feel like a triathlon? Do the reports you fill out at work cause you to slip into a mannequin-like state of utter blankness? When you get home does your dog roll its eyes instead of wagging its tail because you’re seriously such a fucking downer?
I wish I could say I had the answer to your extensional problems but I hope you find comfort in this lovingly curated playlist. New wave is sometimes trivialized but I think its sheer ridiculousness makes it perfect for doing the job of lifting one’s spirits. Added bonus, the music videos for all of these songs only add to the effectiveness of stimulating your brain out of emptiness and into a world of questioning special effects techniques and the deeper meanings of hairstyles.
Adam and the Ants – Puss n’ Boots
Start off the hour freaking out any cats that may (OK let’s say definitely) are in your vicinity with this meow-velous song, Puss n’ Boots, by the dandy highway-men, Adam and the Ants. This song is just goofy enough to wedge its way through general numbness.
As an added bonus, the aesthetics of this video are sure to transport you into a place where thigh-high pirate boots are a worthy sartorial decision and robot faced humanoid greaser mice rule the streets. Google “Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Ryhme” for an extended 90’s version of this same type of fairytale mindfuckery.
Real Life – Send Me an Angel
OK, enough funny stuff. The dark synths in Send Me an Angel, by Real Life will help you get in touch with some of your inner turmoil. Picture yourself dancing in front of a smoke machine to this one.
The video for this song is kind of terrifying…partially for the horse-riding witch woman being chased down by a princely Chewbacca, but mostly for the extreme close ups on the singer’s face. Watch with caution.
ABC – Poison Arrow
Poison Arrow by ABC will push you close to the realm of happy feelings. Theatrics, saxophone, disco beats! ‘Cupid, cupid, stupid, stupid!’ Allow yourself to sing along, don’t fight it!
This video is a cavalcade of insanity. The fact that the entire thing is shot in a tilted rectangle should tell you all you need to know. This is a must-see.
Secession – The Magician
OK, you may have been pushed a little too far with the last track. Let Secession mellow you back out with The Magician. The beat is infectious and will provide a more pleasing pace to your mindless activity.
This moody ‘film noir’ style video features a lot of boob-grabbing and some stellar sunglasses game. For some reason I’m seeing Death of a Salesman, 80’s version in this?
Erasure – Chains of Love
Don’t give up! Chains of Love by Erasure will provide enough drum machine beats that will force you into the (rainbow colored) light of day. Also, any song with ad-libs by a soulful choir in the end are always a win.
Um…what the fuck is happening in this video? If you’ve ever wondered what an acrobatic homoerotic warehouse looked like this will give you your answer.
Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
The slow and synthy intro to this song will ease you into a a brand new drum-machine backed landscape. I like how repetitive the beat is on this track and the lyrics are just dark enough to feel comfortable in a state of depression.
Sadly I couldn’t find a good upload of the actual music video for this song so give your eyes a break on this one.
Q Lazzarus – Goodbye Horses
Are your eyes still closed? Good. This track doesn’t have a video either.
Whether you’re in it for the Buffalo Bill reference or not, this song is pretty epic. Q Lazzarus found a way with Goodbye Horses to be haunting and catchy in the same track. This song is simple and dreamy in the sort of way that makes you want to spin around with a sheet of black chiffon and burn incense (be careful of the fire hazard.) I had no idea this was sung by a woman, but it is, which makes this song even cooler.
Culture Club – Time (Clock of the Heart)
Jump back into the world of color, Amish-style hats, and oversized clothing with Culture Club, and one of my all-time favorite songs of theirs, Time (Clock of the Heart.) The uniquely melancholy tone of Boy George’s voice still lends itself to passionate sing-alongs by listeners to this track. Don’t be shy, let it out.
Boy George’s face is beat for the gods in this video and the pink-centric color palette does wonders for the mood. All seems right with this video until the totally unexplained ending where the band reveals their performance was a lie and they are all related somehow and living with their adoptive mother? As man-children? In the 1950’s? I think?
Nu Shooz – Point of No Return
Nu Shooz will blast you into 3 minutes and 37 seconds of joy with Point of No Return. Not sure if they’re technically new wave but fuck it, If you’ve made it this far I hope you’re beginning to feel.
A lot of dancing shoes and shoulder pads in this video but you don’t have to pay attention while you’re getting your dance on. Close the shades and make sure your headphones are locked in because it’s probably 3AM. I recommend waking up a pet at this point so someone can share in your brief respite from the void of depression
Continue your journey out of apathy with the Retro & 80’s Channel on Sanctuary Radio. Best of luck everyone.