Want some summer vibes to warm up your post-Christmas winter? Well, good, because Swedish pop duo Newtimers have knocked it out of the park with this one. Having never heard of them before, this is a truly fantastic introduction to their groovy ‘80s-inspired antics. She’s a Gun opens with those trademarked compressed drums that are instantly nostalgic and set up the track for what’s to come. The bass is janky as all hell, well deserving of its high level in the mix, commanding and driving the single onwards with an authentic retro feel and an addictively catchy rhythm. The lead vocals are a delight to listen to, a soulful voice with an impeccable energy and range, complete with little breathy moments similar to that of George Michael or Michael Jackson, another lovingly 80’s style nod. The backing vocals have all the hallmarks of the early days of hip-hop, with catchy little hooks that could have come straight out of a Blackstreet or Bell Biv Davoe song.
From a production standpoint, so much has been done to retro-fy this record that it’s easy to overlook the simplistic brilliance of the writing behind it – keyboard stabs sporadically dance in the background on the offbeat, giving it that irresistibly danceable quality. That total drop out of instruments around the two minute mark is absolutely inspired, using atmospheric synths and keys to build up the suspense for the final choruses completed by that ever-catchy, ‘She shot me down down’ hook that will be in your head for hours after the first listen.
It seems to be a common trend at the moment to glorify the retro, to cash in on the nostalgia of cassette tapes and vinyl, which has led to some truly regrettable releases in the last few years, but also some absolute bangers, and this example is definitely in the latter column. She’s a Gun sounds like a lost collaboration between Michael Jackson and Prince, dug from a forgotten record label safe after decades of being hidden away. Newtimers have delivered an utterly magnetic tune that has that instant mood improvement quality that artists like Calvin Harris have been trying to capture for years. This is a love letter to the classics of the ‘80s with everything being built from the ground up with talent and respect – She’s a Gun is addictive, and I couldn’t recommend listening to Newtimer’s other work more.
You can find Newtimers on Facebook, Soundcloud and Twitter as @newtimers.
Words by Morton Piercewright