When I first found Forêt de Vin’s new single, “Carol,” I thought someone had simply uploaded to SoundCloud a Boy Meets Girl song as their own.
There are modern artists who do 80s-inspired work, some sounding more authentically 80s than others (often by style choice). But the relatively new Swedish mystery group has managed to pull off an almost perfect facsimile of every single element of a pop song from 1988, even though they are ostensibly modern humans living in this modern world.
The result is pretty great, too. I could see this as the theme for a montage in an 80s Kevin Bacon film in which there’s romantic tension between love interests. The narrator in this cut is feeling particularly burned by this Carol woman.
The chorus, for example:
“Cause it’s a hard life, for us/
Nothing I can do about it/
And you burned all the bridges to the ground/
You left me in a snowstorm where I’m dying, Carol.”
So the montage would have to have some major sour-faced expressions from a young Bacon-type leading man.
Musically, as I said, this is like a time capsule. The vocals have the right kind of delectable, big-hair cheese in their wailing. The chorused electronic piano, the synths, and the drum machines all are impossible to place anywhere but virtually every mainstream, white-bread pop song in the closing years of the popular decade.
In that makeup, Forêt de Vin is ushering 80s retrosynth away from the 1984-1986 to a time period that has been studied and emulated far less. It’s a welcomed breathe of fresh air.