as someone who spent a lot of time listening to 80s music, i can occasionally appreciate a good cover band. in most cases, though, the cover pales in comparison to the original. it’s rare that a cover can thrive in its own right, without reference to the work that inspired it.
nouvelle vague has created a cover album that reaches this lofty goal—their music is wonderful, enchanting, fun, and only just slightly kitschy. their covers pay tribute to new wave hits from the 80s, and they do it bossa nova style. imagine the cure and the sisters of mercy rendered with delicate female vocals, sultry guitar, and waves washing across a warm shore, and that’s what you’ve got with nouvelle vague.
i was skeptical at first, but their version of "a forest" (my favorite song from seventeen seconds) had me sold in a heartbeat. there are a few misses (not so sure jello biafra ever meant too drunk to f*** to be done to a bossa nova beat). in general, though, this CD was one enjoyable hit parade for me. part flashback, part flash-further back, part modern-day lounge album, nouvelle vague is de rigeur if you’re an 80s kid with bossa nova leanings.
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