It may finally be the time for us to retire our garlands of garlic and hang up our berets, and in fact all of our other hideous French cliché’s. When it comes to associations, France is quickly becoming known as the pulse of electro music.
Justice are the obvious example, marrying a seemingly effortlessness and cool appearance with songs that to this day induce crowds to go a bit mental. It’s hard to believe that Justice’s first album was released nearly six years ago. Kavinsky’s debut album ‘OutRun’ takes the torch in the modern tradition of French electro, whilst adding its own 80’s twist.
Kavinsky’s recent exposure and gain in popularity can in part be attributed to Hollywood A-lister Ryan Gosling. ‘Nightcall’, the first single from the album was featured on the film ‘Drive’ and it’s not hard to see why, with both the film and the album paying tribute to a heavily 80’s glossed style. ‘OutRun’ actually refers to a popular arcade game from the 80’s, with a strong focus on driving. Driving is certainly a theme of the album, although in a glamorous, sepia-toned way as opposed to a Jeremy Clarkson way. ‘Suburbia’ brags ‘I come to life in my fast, fast car/ Buckle up you are now riding with a star’ whilst ‘Roadgame’ swings forward with cool intent, showing off flourishes of Daft Punk style beats.
‘OutRun’ is like Kavinsky’s own attempt at a movie. ‘Prelude’ kicks off the album, acting as a dramatic monologue, with a classic movie-style American voice telling the story of our ‘hero’s’ transfixion with a ‘mysterious red car’, oh and it’s the year 1986 (of course). Similarly ‘Endless’ closes the album with the same narrator concluding ‘And now you know how the legend of the dead cruiser was born’. On paper ‘OutRun’ should be a self-aware cheesy 80’s throwback, but Kavinsky has transformed it into a mini biopic, with the perfect balance of style, 80’s flair and electronic mastery.