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Destroyer & the Return of '70s AM Gold: The Videos

The sounds of '70s AM Gold are back. The sounds of '70s AM Gold are back.

The current issue of Rosebud Magazine features an article called Destroyer and the Return of ‘70s AM Gold, which contains an exclusive interview with Dan Bejar of Destroyer. We spoke with Dan about the process of creating Destroyer’s latest album, Kaputt, which is a sonic throwback to the ‘70s, including a soft-focus horn section, sparkling synth, and pulsing drum beats.

We wanted to provide our listeners with some samples of all that music in a way that we can’t in the magazine, so we’ve created this companion page right here at RosebudMag.com to help illuminate our musical discussion with Dan Bejar.

‘70s AM Gold – 101

Here are some examples of the tunes artists like Destroyer have lately been recalling in their work. These may or may not be the artists that have directly influenced the sound of current musicians, but one reminds us a lot of the other.

Gerry Rafferty – “Baker Street”

This song has one of the most classic, memorable saxophone lines in pop culture history. And check that saxophonist’s wicked moustache/Jheri curl combo! Start sporting that style and we personally guarantee that you will never be lonely again.


Nicolette Larson – “Lotta Love”

According to Wikipedia, Larson made her professional debut in Dan Bejar’s hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia. But the similarities don't end there - “Lotta Love” was her greatest hit, and showcases the sweeping faux-strings that are an essential touch for many of the artists paying homage to the ‘70s.


Little River Band – “Reminiscing”

These Aussies were huge Down Under, and broke through in the U.S. with "Reminiscing." Again, the groove of the bass player and drummer support a track soaked in soft keys and strings. Those elements combined are hallmarks of the era.


America – “Horse With No Name”

This ubiquitous song has been so overplayed that it’s nearly impossible to enjoy. Couple that with the singer’s second-rate Neil Young impersonation, and you have one of those relics of the past that make your hindsight bias go crazy wondering how this song became a hit. However, the acoustic strumming and plush vocal harmonies do a good job of representing something quintessential about the jangle of ‘70s AM Gold.


The Return of the ‘70s Sound

And now for the revivalists. These are the artists we mentioned in the current issue of Rosebud Magazine – musicians either incorporating aspects of the ‘70s sound or straight up mimicking it.

Destroyer – “Kaputt”

Let’s start with the best of the best. It’s no secret by now that we’re fans of Destroyer, and the new album Kaputt in particular. Here’s the first video from the record, its title track, showcasing many of the elements we’ve been talking about.


She & Him – “In the Sun”

Zooey Deschanel’s endearingly twee voice is perfectly suited to this song, which once again features sweeping strings and a dancey beat.  Other AM Gold accoutrements are the funky guitar lines and the bass tone dulled around the edges. Oh, and the super catchy hooks that make this track so much fun in the first place.


Gayngs – “The Gaudy Side of Town”

This live track from massive Midwest supergroup Gayngs features synth, sax, and other elements borrowed from the heyday of AM Gold. The ‘70s were one of the gaudiest decades of the 20th century, so the title of this song is appropriate. These guys are just getting started, but we expect big things from them in the near future.


Toro Y Moi – “Still Sound”

Perhaps the most unambiguous ‘70s throwback is Toro Y Moi’s latest album, Beneath the Pine. This glorious homage to the disco age adds a modern flavor, but spares nothing when it comes to the AM Gold sound. The tone of every instrument is spot on, and the soft vocals fit the bill perfectly. In fact, we love Toro Y Moi so much, we’ll be featuring an interview with the man behind the project, Chazwick Bundick, in an upcoming issue of Rosebud Magazine. Until then, enjoy this track.


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Last modified on Friday, 17 August 2012 17:44

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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