If you’re still unsure of your place in 2017, Los Angeles duo Bad Wave are offering us a taste of a different era. ‘1955’ throws up poignant reminiscence alongside tightly-spun pop melodies, as Patrick Hart and Tucker Tota neatly toe the line between synth-pop and indie.
The track follows January’s ‘Time To Get Lost’, inevitably written about their dismay after the result of the US election. With ‘1955’, Hart and Tota delightfully balance the characteristic wistfulness of indie-folk group Whitney alongside MGMT-like wobbly electronics. Lyrically, it proves Hart and Tota are still uncomfortable with the present day, but they ensure they’re no relic just yet: “Oh I’m too young to die/ But you keep me looking good and feeling fine.”
“A lot of things happened in 1955. Elvis made his first television appearance. Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat. Steve Jobs was born and Albert Einstein died” the duo said while explaining this toying with the past and present day themselves. “Some people wish we could go back to 1955. A nostalgia for a simpler time. But we’re more excited about what’s ahead. We’ve got nostalgia for the future.”
The world was a different place 62 years ago, but rooted in the 21st century is the way in which the pair write. Despite living in the same apartment block, Hart and Tota are rarely in the same room, and instead collaborate over email. With a shared love of Weezer and other 90s nerd pop, Bad Wave are picking out the best of a tech-fuelled past to weave into their own kind of displaced pop. And it is just fitting for 2017.
Words by Ellen Peirson-Hagger