I, for one, am delighted at the resurgence of new wave music. Growing up in the 80’s, synth music was everywhere – top 40 radio, movie soundtracks, and record shops. I’ve spent years as a faithful listener of WBER’s New Wave Wednesday show, waiting for the new generation to bring it back. The resurgence of the genre means having new tracks to listen to, with fresh modern takes.
Monte Vayo’s new EP Count Me Out is a brilliant little gem, clocking in at under ten minutes. The three-song collection leads with the title track “Count Me Out.” Monte Vayo paints a light and airy soundscape with minimal lyrics, which is a theme that carries throughout the entire EP. It is clear the artist is paying homage to the classics of the heyday of new wave, while at the same time adding contemporary elements for a more ambient sound. It’s the kind of thing I like to hear at an upscale coffee shop or have spun by the DJ at my favorite art gallery.
While the song’s overall tone is breezy, it also showcase’s Monte Vayo’s innate sense of rhythm. It’s hard to sit still while listening to the undulating beats accompanying the melody. So dedicated was Monte Vayo to creating an authentic sound that he purchased some decades-old drum machines in order to compose and record these songs.
As “Count Me Out” gives way to “Why” and the final song “Find A Way,” it becomes obvious that Monte Vayo is someone who shouldn’t be counted out. His work would fit in just as easily on a mix tape with Pet Shop Boys, Joy Division, and OMD as it would on a Spotify playlist with modern synthwave acts like Electric Youth, Home, and Humble Braggers.
Key Track: Count Me Out