Synthpop is a new wave of 80s revivalism. It's been on the rise ever since CHVRCHES brought it back in 2013. CHVRCHES, however, always had a taste of modern in their music. There are many other artists how harken back to the 80s album by the books. New Arcades sounds like this, but there's promise in their music.
Sparkling synths and electronic drums are the signature of the English duo's new song 'Where We Were Before' featuring Brighton singer Sarah Bird. The track is very classic feeling, the bright splashing synths sound like an old movie where a boy and girl in love run through puddles in a rain storm. It's nostalgic, for sure. It's instrumental is pretty standard beyond that, but does a good job of supporting Bird's longing vocals. It's a love song, and that's evident through both the instrumental's mood and the lyrics. The boys of New Arcades handle the vocals in the verses, speaking of the stories of a past love: the second verse chants, "I said I wanted to have something that would make us feel alive," before Bird and the band transition between the choruses and pre-chorus: "Now everything falls into place / Like where we were before / I tell myself that we won't break / The voice I'm hearing is yours."
Beyond the obvious components of the track, there really isn't much else to explore. There's a little guitar in the bridge, but it sounds more like a gimmick than an honest component. It gets buried in the mix for the outro before it can become something big and worthy of stirring up a new emotion, hidden beneath the standard synths that loop throughout the song. This band has such a solid grip on the elements of electronic music and the vibes of the 80s. They don't seem ready to tread away from the same synths and sounds and into something unique.
New Arcades has a lot of potential, but their not quite there yet. Their music captures 80s soundscapes and nostalgia perfectly, but not in a unique way. It's a style we've heard before and all too many times. They bring in partners from their local music scene to spice things up, which is a good thing, but their core has not changed. By the time they hit their first LP, hopefully they'll find their niche. For now, their music will keep being the old nostalgic inducing electronic music that many cherished so well. I guess there's not so much wrong with that, after all.
Rating: 70 / 100