Tag Archives: Yacht Rock

Paper Boats – “Holidays”

22 Apr

Paper Boats

It seems appropriate (despite the dreary grey day today) that with Easter behind us and the summer surely only a matter of weeks away, to turn our attentions to the holiday season. To white sandy beaches, azure blue ocean waters, sun kissed happiness and cocktails by the pool; the dream image of a tropical paradise unspoilt and perfect. What a perfect time then for the Paper Boats guys to release a new track, “Holiday” to the world, especially when it sounds like the aural equivalent of that dream summer break.

“I feel so lazy” they sing, “I feel so high”, and it’s not surprising. The sunshine will do that to you, all that vitamin D making you feel all positive, happy and relaxed, like you don’t have a care in the world. “Holiday” has the same effect. It’s light and dreamy as the synth sounds and digital rhythms wash gently against the shore.

It’s very 80’s as well, like Wham playing volleyball on the beach while Duran Duran play scrabble by the pool and Mel and Kim try their luck at ping pong sort of 80’s. It’s very white linen shorts and open cotton shirts. The guitars evoke that yacht rock sound that was so derided at the time yet was extremely popular and the vocals sound like they belong to someone whose hair is a thing of beauty and the cause of envy to many.

In short, it’s a chilled out summer holiday track, full of dreamy melodies, soft vocals and a little bit of big hair and very tanned George Michael. Time to break out a piña colada we reckon, see you on the beach.

“Holidays” is out now and available to buy from iTunes.

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Listen: Crystal Bats – “Arabella”

5 Nov

While drawing inspiration from and paying homage to 80’s music remains very much in fashion these days (did anyone really think it would last this long by the way?) there is one sub-genre that hasn’t really been touched. Yacht Rock.

For those of you too young to remember or just not who were blissfully unaware at the time, Yacht Rock was the term for a smooth, occasionally cheesy, kind of music that was popular with yuppies (Google it youngsters) and the like in the early 80s. So called because it was the kind of music the upwardly mobile would play while cruising around on their yacht, artists branded as Yacht Rock included Kenny G, the Doobie Brothers, and Steely Dan.

With that in mind it is unsurprising that anyone has really used it as inspiration for their music in this ultra-modern digital age. Except they have. Enter Crystal Bats, a Norwich duo (they have a full band for live shows) who are currently generating a bit of a buzz in the region and beyond and whose latest single, “Arabella”, features cat-soft vocals and smooth, creamy synths and guitars. It wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City but cheesy it is not.

The duo, two Wills (Jones and Vaughan), are as impeccably attired and coiffured as the craftsmanship and consideration that goes into the music. “Arabella” is ice-cream soft and just as lovely. Not the cheap vanilla block in a box that your Gran would trot out after Sunday lunch, the expensive kind your Mum would only ever buy when she was trying to impress people you didn’t know very well.

The video, which you can see here, perfectly captures the style and aesthetic of the era the two Wills have drawn on for inspiration. Kudos to director Charlotte Rutherford for embracing the kitsch, keeping it fun, and not making it look like a full-on parody.

“Arabella” is out today (5 Nov) and is available from all the usual digital outlets, including the Crystal Bats Bandcamp page.

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