Artificial Pleasure are a band possessed by the shimmering vintage of a bygone era: A distinctly early ’80s brand of alternative dance, right here in the late ’10s.
Their bass-driven blueprint brings together urging, slightly funky riffs, a stirring vocal, and a clean-cut production style. It all instantly reminds me of Bowie in his Let’s Dance days – I’m far from the first person to make that comparison – while the band choose to reference Dexys’ Kevin Rowland as a primary inspiration.
On a Saturday Night is their new single, released today on London independent East City Rockers. It’s not as euphoric as some of their other singles, but it’s just as potent, with themes of yearning for happy memories that make its meaning just as nostalgic as its sound.
Also make sure to check out their bright 2016 single I’ll Make It Worth Your While, and The Hand On My Shoulder, a track that just builds and builds to a rapture.
This is all very much how dance music sounded in the early ’80s, mishmashed with New Wave and synthpop and early post-punk. For people like me, who weren’t around at all during that decade, it’s great to hear a new band just living in that brilliant sound.
Artificial Pleasure release their debut album The Bitter End on 11 May. There’s no live dates on the way at the moment.