Genre of the Week 5: New Wave (Part 2)

Now initially new wave was connected to punk before it began branching out as a more distinctly identifiable genre on its own. 

This is when small sub-genres or movements within new wave were born, starting with a darker form of post-punk in England of which Joy Division were at the heart of.

The Cure also emerged along with Joy Division in embracing a darker and at times Gothic feel to new wave.

Gary Numan’s synth-based new wave hinted at where things would go with synth pop. But, at the time this was part of the underground new wave scene that was emerging independently in the UK.

Britain was not alone when it came to the emergence of new wave, and in fact this new underground music was also taking off in New York.

Talking Heads were one of the bands that came out of a scene at a club called CBGB. If ever there was one place where new wave emerged Stateside it was here.

And although Talking Heads would go on to have superstar mainstream success in the 80’s, at this early stage they were just another emerging act on the new wave scene.

Television also emerged out of CBGB, but with their twin lead guitar attack took on a more classic rock feel compared to other bands on the scene. 

Their debut album Marquee Moon is considered a classic guitar album and one of the greatest new wave records.

And finally, rapping up the early-New York new wave scene there was Blondie.

Fronted by Debbie Harry, Blondie had a pop feel musically and also placed more emphasis on rhythm than other New York acts on the scene at the time.

This led to some great Billboard success for the band, who were probably the first US new wave band to break the mainstream.

– Sam


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