For those of us who didn’t live through the 80s, it was a pastel paradise. It was a burst of neon and leopard print, a decade of big hair and glam rock, a time when everything was rendered in tasteful pinks and blues. We don’t remember the rampant Reaganism, the cut-throat capitalism or the surge in unemployment. The 80s is taught to our generation through episodes of Glow and Stranger Things, through ironic H&M tees and snippets of songs sampled by Kanye West. Our 80s is vibrant and idyllic – all because we didn’t live through it.
Paying homage to the decade’s idealised legacy is Austin-based Primo, whose new track ‘To The Max!’ is an explosion of glittery 80s power pop.
‘To The Max!’ takes the ludicrous excess of the 80s and condenses it into four and a half minutes of stomping glam pop featuring big synths and, of course, a whining guitar solo. It’s a pastiche of the bombastic style that dominated the charts, reminiscent of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Eurythmics, a high-tempo dance track that has you reaching for your sweatband and hot pants. But that’s not to say ‘To The Max!’ is a cheap imitation. Primo wears her influences on her sleeve, but the track is a tight pop song in its own right thanks to a snappy chorus and addictive dance beat.
The moniker of Texas-born Laura Lee Bishop, Primo is a project that pays homage to a decade that has been mythologised by those born after its end. Primo seizes the posthumously idealised aesthetic of the 80s and megasizes it, blowing it up and revelling in its excess. ‘To The Max!’ plays with the caricature the 80s has become, producing one hell of a catchy synth-pop tune in the process, making you nostalgic for a decade that barely even existed.