Nostalgia has ruled the music of the past few years, no doubt, but this week we’ve got a few songs that pay homage to the ’70s and ’80s while managing to sound more than relevant. Brandon Flowers, frontman of New Wave cannibals The Killers, releases his shamelessly glam “Still Want You”; Giorgio Moroder and Sia resuscitate disco on “Déjà Vu”; and Jacco Gardner gets lost in the acid-fried annals of psych.
Brandon Flowers — “Still Want You”
The Desired Effect, the second solo album from The Killers’ Brandon Flowers, is shaping up to be this year’s Bleachers: another big ’80s pop homage from a mainstream rock guy. If you’re looking for something in this vein — particularly something with a jangly piano melody that’ll attach itself to the sides of your brain — look no further than Flowers’ new song, “Still Want You.” Produced by Ariel Rechtshaid (Haim, Sky Ferrera), the album’s out May 18. — Jillian Mapes
Giorgio Moroder ft. Sia — “Déjá Vu”
We’ve already heard Giorgio Moroder’s great Kyle Minogue-featuring track, “Right Here, Right Now,” and now we’ve got this, the title track from his forthcoming Déjá Vu. The title is about as on-the-nose as it gets, as the track is filled with shuffling guitars and an always-pounding drum beat that echoes Moroder’s biggest disco hits. Only, with Sia on board, the song is firmly planted in 2015. It’s probably what every club will be playing at 2 AM this summer, but it probably already reminds you of all the best sweaty nights you’ve ever danced away.
Déjá Vu, which is Moroder’s first album in 30 years, is out June 12. — Shane Barnes
Jacco Gardner — “Hypnophobia”
Dutch producer Jacco Gardner’s “Hypnophobia” is a throwback only in the sense that, yeah, it kinda sounds like “Stairway to Heaven” in the intro, and yeah, it could very well be the sonic backdrop for a too-long opening credits sequence for some ‘70s spy movie in which everything looks amazing but nothing really happens. But that’s the crux of this song: it feels cool, and not in a way that’s easy. “Hypnophobia” does everything that a great psych track should do (basically, wrap you in sound) and with as much ease as the best psych tracks do it. There’s tuned percussion and drums and barely-there vocals swirled all throughout. It takes you on a trip, but it brings you back home, too. — SB
Girlpool — “Before the World Was Big”
The title track from Girlpool’s forthcoming debut, Before the World Was Big (out June 2), is at once unnerving and comforting. Harmony Tividad and Cleo Tucker’s voices are like two shades of the same color that are slightly different. They almost match, but ultimately clash just a little. In the context of vocal harmonies, this dynamic is intriguing. Add in the early Talking Heads vibes and how refreshing it is to hear wistful pangs of youth coming from literal teenagers, and “Before the World Was Big” is a knockout. — JM
BenZel — “Stuck on You” ft. Tory Lanez
BenZel, the production duo behind Jessie Ware’s signature sound, put out one of 2014’s finest pop EPs, Men. Now they’re back with a new SoundCloud single every week. The first, “Stuck on You,” shines a light on Canadian newcomer Tory Lanez, whose falsetto is stronger than his rhymes. Here, Lanez leads the BenZel boys in a trippy acoustic soul jam. — JM
Bonus: Dane Terry — “Normal At Last”
We premiered “Normal At Last” earlier this week, but we’ve gotta call it out again here: Dane Terry’s unironic cynicism is captured perfectly in this Randy Newman-indebted track. In four minutes, Terry takes us through the benefits and drawbacks of queer integration, with horns and piano at his back and a smirk squarely on his face. At one point the song pauses for a brief eruption of fireworks, and then right back into it — temporary jubilee, just like every celebration. — SB