The ’80s are perpetually on point for aesthetic pillaging—a new generation of artists like Blood Orange, Solange and Kindness have spent the last few years re-imagining quiet storm and Minneapolis pop—but New Wave has been slightly sidestepped in today’s Reagan-era rennaissance. That’s why we were so psyched to hear the Brat Pack-y last track, “All That I Want,” from Rush Midnight’s new debut self-titled album (out today on Last Gang Records). Though much of the album is a foray into bass-strumming funk, “All That I Want” is a pure, perfect take on classic 1980s New Wave. We asked the brains behind Rush Midnight, Russ Manning, to show us the OG New Wave jams that inspired the song and that get him humming.
The Clash, “English Civil War (live)”
I grew up on The Clash and during college we’d listen to them on Friday afternoons while cooking pizza in our free spirit co-op. Paul Simonon is one of my idols and looks amazing in this video. They’re at the height of their game and the lights look expensive.
Orphanage, “Step Into Your Shoes”
I discovered pre-Thin Lizzy Lynott during high school and would listen to it for months on my bmx bike. I love how raw the bass and drums sound on this. The vocals have the tragedy that continues in all his songs.
Lords Of The New Church, “Dance With Me”
The chorus bass on this song is what pulled me in. I would play this song often on my college radio show, which occurred on Friday nights at 1am. No one was listening and but it would become a pit stop where my friends and I would get loose.
Orange Juice, “Falling and Laughing”
This is the first OJ I ever heard. It’s a real up-lifter and always makes me smile. Girls and guys both seem to like it and I’d say you can listen straight through to any of their 4 studio albums. I played their records constantly while working at a coffee shop after college.
Carly Simon, “Why?”
This song was produced by Chic and its a big comeback song for ol’ Carly. The video is questionable, but nobody I know dislikes song. I play it a lot when I DJ and it transitions well in and out of ’90s R&B.
Thin Lizzy, “Wild One”
Scope his Rickenbacker with chrome pickguard! TL is my all time favorite and I’m especially fond of the slower tragic-sounding jams like this one. When I have the money I’d like to add a second guitarist to my live show so that we can write some epic dual lines like these.
Elvis Costello & The Attractions, “Watching the Detectives”
This is my drummer Will’s favorite—the guitar tone is perfect and so it the intro.