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"New Wave" and "Canada" don't mix - but somehow, this worked.,
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This review is from: Echo Beach (MP3 Download)
A one-off hit from a Canadian band, who emerged during the New Wave aftermath of Punk and were somewhat influenced by it. I say they were influenced by New Wave rather than that they were a part of it, because New Wave was really a British thing: there was a sense in the late 1970s that Britain had lost confidence in itself, and this greatly influenced a lot of the teens-to-twenties age cohort. The feeling found expression in music, and New Wave was one of the forms that it took. No other nation had this sort of experience at that time, so the roots of New Wave didn't exist elsewhere, and the flower of it didn't bloom there either. We could go further and note that of all nations, Canada was perhaps the least likely to have suffered a crisis of self-confidence, and therefore the least able to produce anything on the lines of New Wave.
And yet: Echo Beach has many of the technical characteristics of New Wave, it was written and recorded in Canada, and it works. How so? Well, it's a song about adolescent discontentment. A boring and mundane life, relieved by the fantasy world in which many a holiday is enjoyed - for two weeks out of every 52! Martha and the Muffins took this theme of discontentment, and the musical forms of New Wave (which is really about socio-political discontentment), and then mashed them up. The whole thing is nicely done, following valid musicological principles, but it is held together by just one point that the theme has in common with the musical form. This single tie turns out to be strong enough, and so the whole thing works.
There was perhaps one more factor in the song's success as a single. Maybe each of us has his or her own Echo Beach: a rare but recurring delight that keeps us going through our daily lives. Faraway in time - but we know we'll make it in the end. Go on - buy yourself a download and let Martha take you there.