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The popularization of genres like Vaporwave and retro wave brought about the climax of The 80’s revival. The synthesizer became king once again for a day, and the TV shows and movies were soaking themselves up in neon and nostalgia. Youtube became filled with Japanese Citypop compilations set to looped fragments of old Anime with a VHS filter overlay, and a slight chromatic aberration ruled the RBG rainbow. 

At the end of the day, it was all very fun, but most of what came out at the time didn’t quite capture what the era was in musical terms, it only captured a handful of signifiers and motifs. It takes someone with real understanding to do the decade justice, someone who knows that emulating a Roland D-50 isn’t enough: Enter Joshy Soul.


There is nothing quite like listening to good music that comes out of the gate swinging hard, and Joshy Soul’s “New Lover” certainly does that in a big way. He’s been described as  “reminiscent of Prince meets Bowie”, which sets an eyebrow-raising expectation before you hit the play button; those are some damn big shoes to fill, and it’s very very rare to see anyone try and make music directly inspired from both of those guys nowadays.


“New Lover” is a song all about self-love. “…This new year I found myself a new lover (which is myself).” says Joshy. ” Taking care of my mental health and not always putting others before, especially my romantic relationships.”. The end result of this new year’s resolution is a funky, hectic and electrifying 80s party anthem with all the trappings of the era played completely straight in tonal perfection and absolute confidence, just as if it was made back then. This song is not “retro”, it’s a legitimate vintage anachronistic transplant sound that makes you want to dance all night long.


 Every layer of “New Lover” feels like it was made with frantic and dangerous intent, sharpened with musical sensibilities that are just no longer all that common. Joshy sets himself apart from so many of his contemporaries by being a man who’s “out of touch and out of time”, as it were. He’s not of this world, his sound is bonkers, and it’s legitimately the most enjoyable new thing I’ve heard since the year began.

Photos: Story: Samuel Aponte  Photos: 5yne5



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