The French group M83 is named after a spiral galaxy 15 million light years away, which perfectly characterizes the lush atmospherics that the act is known for. Formerly a duo, since the 2005 album Before The Dawn Heals Us it has been the sole project of Anthony Gonzalez. France has produced a lot of great electronic-based acts, such as Air, Daft Punk, and Justice, but M83's songs have a more organic, tuneful quality. Many songs follow a more traditional rock arrangement, influenced by shoegaze bands like My Bloody Valentine, with hushed vocals bathed in a wash of synths.
The music mostly conjures two themes in its imagery- gloom and teenage nostalgia. But as the picture above illustrates, it's a more youthful sense of gloom reminiscent of Halloween- romanticized and borderline goth. Anthony Gonzalez has an abiding fascination with the 80's, and many of the music videos mimic the plot of a John Hughes film. Even the cover of the new album, Saturdays=Youth, features an exact look-alike of Molly Ringwald. As Gonzalez writes in the album liner notes, "Thanks to all the friends, music, movies, joints, and crazy teachers that made my teenage years so great!"I discovered M83 with the gorgeously hazy 'Run Into Flowers', which I highly recommend, though its music video isn't much more than a Windows 95-era screensaver. M83's subsequent videos are much better, usually profiling a teenage girl and her unrequited love.
In the video for 'Graveyard Girl', our subject likes to hang around pet cemeteries and has a crush on the popular boy in school. Will he ever notice her? It reminds me of the Emilio Estevez/Ally Sheedy relationship from The Breakfast Club. In a spoken segment midway through, she asks with adorable melodrama, "I'm fifteen years old and I feel it's already too late to live. Don't you?"
New single "Kim and Jessie"
Standout videos from the previous album Before The Dawn Heals Us. I love how they're both connected.The video for the pummeling "Don't Save Us From The Flames" reminds me of a cross between E.T. and Donnie Darko. Two girls both like the same guy. Whom will he choose?
The song 'Teen Angst' sounds like 8-bit video game music for Mega Man. This video features the other girl from the love triangle. Was the previous story all just a dream?