Anthony Gonzalez, the French musician who performs under the moniker M83, is only 26, but he’s already waxing nostalgic for the good old days. In fact, “Saturdays=Youth,” his fifth and latest record, is inspired by his not-too-long-gone adolescence, which he claimed were some of the best of his life so far.
“I’ve always been fascinated by my teenage years and by teenagers, especially because I have a lot of great memories,” Gonzalez told GO Brooklyn from Portland, Ore., where he and his band had played the second show of the U.S. tour that lands in Brooklyn on Tuesday, June 3 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. “It was one of the most beautiful periods of my life — you’re discovering and experiencing new things. It’s also the age of music — Cocteau Twins, Talk Talk — I think [the album] was an attempt for me to pay tribute to this music.”
And the 11 tracks on the record do just that. From placid numbers like “Graveyard Girl” to “Kim and Jessie,” Gonzalez’s first real pop song, the record is a keen tribute to the decade that inspired the songwriter. Not to worry, though, this isn’t another plate of Electroclash leftovers — while Gonzalez might have left his heart in the ’80s, his feet are firmly planted in the here and now. Gonzalez’s own favorite song on the record is “Couleurs,” a nine-minute slow disco opus that should be mandatory for sunrise walks home.
“It’s the longest track of the album, and it’s very repetitive,” he said. “It’s the same melodies over and over, but it’s good to add beats and keyboard.”
So, where better for Gonzalez to play his new songs than Williamsburg, where residents, often accused of being perpetual teenagers, have a taste for both new music and ’80s nostalgia?
“The album seems a little more nuanced than their last one,” said Greenpoint resident, and M83 fan, Toby Carroll. “It does make more of an exploration of their sound, and [moves in] a more personal direction. It’s more intimate at the very least. There was one incredibly poppy song that I thought went a little too far into retro territory, but overall I like it a lot.”
Gonzalez also acknowledged that the record was a step in a new direction.
“The main thing for me is trying to do something different each time I make an album. For this one, I wanted to have 11 different songs and to have a very eclectic album,” he said. “This is the shiniest album I’ve ever made. Writing a pop song is very new for me — that was really exciting. It’s a departure, even if I think this album is a betrayal to my previous albums.”
Betrayal or not, the shimmering songs are pitch-perfect summer fare, and will surely find their way onto iPods across the borough. As for Gonzalez, despite not being a teenager anymore, he’s still experimenting.
“I started experimenting with drugs when I was a teenager, I started to write music…it was a departure for me. It was really exciting, and I had a feeling that I had the best friends ever during that period and we shared a lot of things. It was really intense,” said Gonzalez. “We felt a bit desperate, but very positive in the same way.”
M83 will play at 8 pm on June 3 at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (66 N. Sixth St. at Wythe Avenue in Williamsburg). Tickets are $15. For information, call (718) 486-5400 or visit www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com.
©2008 Community News Group
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