Some of us can only aspire to some level of competence in a given craft.
However, on its new song, “Summer Heat,” Wales-based band Paradise Walk has far exceeded a mere understanding of what an 80s-inspired indie group can do by giving us this appropriately titled, probable song of the summer — or at least the 80s-infused dream pop song of the summer.
Mining elements of Kenny Loggins and The Psychedelic Furs — with a taste of The Wild Swans, some general C86 feel, and a healthy dose of minor-key, 80s teen flick soundtrack overtones — Paradise Walk gives us a bright, catchy, and inspiring cut that taps into complex emotions without the band taking themselves too seriously.
The thing is, Christian Ferriday and Lee Fifield have managed to create a song that features all the proper odes to the 80s while staying rooted in 2015, but do so without making it seem like some paint-by-numbers action.
There certainly is a template that calls for shiny, shimmering, and clean electric guitars, some pink, crystalline keyboard shades, and driving drums and sequencers, all bound together by beautiful melodies. However, Ferriday and Fifield never make it seem like some cynical ploy to take advantage of what’s popular right now. If anything, they come off like old pros getting back together after 30 years with the hope of writing another hit about carefree summers using the tools that got them to the top in the first place.
Ultimately, the song shows that the duo has taken the half-formed contours of their previous work and learned to make something memorable and enjoyable from all those various parts. It’s a great result that everyone needs to hear.