Posts Tagged ‘Wyatt Blair’

Wyatt Blair

Wyatt Blair sneaks out his second low-key release of 2018 with the decidedly sunny blast of power pop, Inspirational Strawberries. The album shrugs off pretty much all of the 80’s vibes that permeated his last couple of releases, making a pretty spectacular about face on the melancholy New Wave of March’s Smoke & Mirrors. The album reinvests in a more classic brand of power pop, chucking the neon out the window in favor of mod-pressed visions of jangle-pop that range from the ‘70s strut of Raspberries to the psychedelic swirl of The 3 O’Clock. While it doesn’t have the kitsch factor and AquaNet smirk that drove his high watermark Point of No Return, for power pop fans there’s plenty to hold onto here.

The hooks are about a mile wide and trussed up in the sunniest hues of the bubblegum brigade. There’s a definite feeling that Blair has been soaking his solace in the works of The Archies, Rick Springfield (circa Mission: Magic) and The Lemon Pipers with total sincerity. The ‘60s flame burns brightest on “(Stuck In A) Daydream” and “It’s Yesterday,” but there’s a general veneer of catchall Saturday Morning strummer inclusiveness adhered to the record, recalling whole hosts of Don Kirshner productions from the era. Blair’s always had a knack for pop, and he tends to serve the cult of listeners who don’t mind retreading a little old ground in search of those perfect pop swoons. So, while this might not be for every indie-pop tart out there, its manna to the sunshine searchers just looking for one more go ‘round through the best moments of 60s sparkle.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair – “The Want To Be Wanted”

Wyatt Blair tackled ‘80s excess with a deft scalpel on his last album, finding a way to push Kenny Loggins’ towering tentpole radio hits to a place that was somehow nostalgic and quaint without feeling like he was trying too hard on Karaoke night. Now he’s on the verge of a new album and the first single is taking aim at another sweep of the ‘80s cinematic arm. Instead of guitar anthems that conjure visions of shirtless volleyball, caddy parties and repressed heartland teens, this time he’s taking aim at The Breakfast Club set. The latest single is packaging synthpop heartbreak into the kind of radio fodder that once buoyed Tears For Fears and Simple Minds with some new wave guitar slices that pull from the sheath of Echo & The Bunnymen or Modern English. Needless to say, I stand a bit curious to see if he continues this bent for a full album or if this remains an aberration on his style, but “The Want To Be Wanted” pulls off its trick nicely just the same.


Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair – “Pop Your Heart Out”

Wyatt Blair’s power pop hockey stop Point Of No Return was a pleasant surprise from an artist devoted to outsized hooks and 200 SPF beach party vibes. So, it’s with equal pleasure that this one-off from Blair drops down into Volcom’s single’s cache as curated by Burger. The rest of the bunch is standard Burger fare, fun but not particularly bursting with fruit flavor. Blair, on the other hand, shows the rest how it’s done. “Pop Your Heart Out” is ten feet tall from the moment it hits and feels continuously like the epic finale of some sort of ’80s college film.

Somewhere between the bars John Cusack is finding resolve, Anthony Edwards is toppling the oppressive scowls of authority and/or Val Kilmer is filling some domicile with enough popcorn to burst a window. More likely though, I think Steve Guttenberg is smirking somewhere and just letting those guitars wash over him. That’s been Blair’s magic in his hi-fi incarnation, he knows just how neon to tint those guitars and synths. He knows just how huge the chorus has to be and then he aims higher. It’s pure cotton candy pop, but everyone likes a cheat day every now and again.




Support the artist. Download it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair

Ok so the other day, getting pizza with some friends, I was wrapping up out front of the shop. The place’s delivery guy bumped out of the door, cigarette dangling, pies aloft, mullett on point and jumped into a bruised white convertible. He threw the pizza in the backseat, cranked Billy Idol on the stereo and pulled a U-ie into traffic. Clearly he was living his best life and that is probably the truest analogy I can provide for how Wyatt Blair’s album feels. Blair, an unabashed devotee to the ’80s some would like to forget, your gym teacher is still living and Kenny Loggins is still tying to remember has crafted the best love letter to a generation and its excesses than probably anyone has ever taken the time to perfect.

There’s a power pop soul to Blair’s writing, but its been massively perverted by the hair metal overload of an era of MTV. Its been melted into shape by Yacht Rock’s smoothness. It’s harnessed the lightning strike of crisp ’80s overload that most laughingly write off as a trite and forgettable soundtrack to Michael J. Fox films and Tom Cruise volleyball montages. These elements usually slip way back into the subconscious only to be tickled every so often by the flip of an oldies dial, but that’s where the brilliance of someone like Wyatt Blair fully coalesces. He not only embraces the schlock and sheen, he perfects it. Yeah fists are raised, gloves are fingerless and I’m pretty sure all of the drums are triggered but that’s where knowing you’re embracing a bygone image of cool transcends time and space and better judgment to just let that surge of fun light the way. Blair knows that everyone secretly just wants to embody their own montage, that we’re all riding the bus in elementary, junior high, high school and thinking back on that super compressed version of heightened reality with a feeling that’s equal parts ennui and pain.

The funny thing is Blair himself is a bit too young to have been on the buses at the time but he knows how to wrap up nostalgia in a way that bites just right. Every aesthetic bit of Point of No Return is full of the right amount of neon, and the right snap of spandex. The soft focus is racked just right and the ghosts of Eddie Money, Pat Benetar, Lita Ford and Wyatt’s own admitted crush, Kenny Loggins are streaming through the veins of the record without even feeling like an homage. His tracks just feel like they were the jukebox detritus of bands that got passed over. Its a record that could so seamlessly find its way into the soundtracks of teen films from the VHS graveyard that it would make Craig Wedren (aka Wet Hot American Summer‘s secret weapon) blush. So sit back and clip in for a ride that’s big and bold and lit and full of the life that may have left the radio these days, but its not forgotten. Clearly there’s still a little room for excess in 2016.




Support the artist. Buy it HERE.

0 Comments

Wyatt Blair – “Monday Morning Mess”

The sad demise of Pop Zeus’ Mikey Hodges left the fate of his collaborative LP with Wyatt Blair in permanent stasis, and the fate of Blair himself open ended in the wake of his friends passing. True to form though, Wyatt has picked up the pair’s indomitable vibe and parlayed it into a solo record that has the same lust for power pop as screened through the 80’s dayglo sheen of MTV, nervy new wave excess and an untitled buddy comedy starring John Cusack and Corey Feldman that only exists in my head. Lead off single is chowing down Eddy Money mania while channeling a version of The Kings enamored with The Cars’ syth sound. There’s never a glut of power pop but Blair sends those chills of excitement down your spine, getting it just right along with other crunch pop heroes of today like Barreracudas and Warm Soda. Pair it all up with a grainy video that feeds on the best of the the video vault cliche’s and its hard not to crack a smile for Blair’s double slice of fun. The album’s on the way in August and that’s just in time to crank it for some Summer sendoffs.

Support the artist. Buy it HERE

0 Comments