‘Oceans Niagara’ by M83 — Single Rating: 3/5 ★★★☆☆
The latest sound and style from M83 means they find themselves very much in vogue. Especially, as the popular culture of today laps up everything that has a hint of 1980’s flavour.
‘Oceans Niagara’, the band’s latest single has a distinct 80’s feel. Also, it is the first to be released from their upcoming new album ‘Fantasy’, dropping on the 17 thMarch. Try and think of a song that wouldn’t sound out of place on the ‘Drive’ movie soundtrack along with inspiration from other synth peers such as Tame Impala and Empire Of The Sun, and you would be halfway there.
‘BEYOND ADVENTURE’ shout the space age Freddie Mercury-esque vocals and its these two words that are the only lyrics to the song. Although lyrically sparse, the track has such a groove to it. The droning layered synths are addictive. Also, it’s hard to count the number of overdubbed guitars and drum fills on ‘Oceans Niagara’.
The guitar and synths combination have always been omnipresent across M83’s head writer Anthony Gonzalez’s work and released through the bands own label ‘Other Suns’ it’s an enjoyable and pulsing listen.
‘Oceans Niagara’ is M83’s first new release since 2016’s ‘Junk’. They have collaborated with producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen here. As an ex musical director to Beck and the current musical director for St Vincent, he comes with a healthy dose of creativity on his CV.
Are M83 ‘dream pop’, ‘ambient’, ‘synth pop’ or ‘new wave’? They are really difficult to place as an act, but ‘Oceans Niagara’ is a strong tune without a doubt. So much so in fact that this writer was somewhat surprised it’s not the opener on the upcoming album. Gonzalez has recently discussed getting maximum impact from M83’s live shows (they will tour extensively across North America and Europe from April to August) and ‘Oceans Niagara’ is a shoe in for any concert opener. A guaranteed absolute banger of a live tune.