Music

Azure Blue Harkens Back to the '80s with "Seasons"

Performing as Azure Blue, Tobias Isaksson looks back to the 1980s for much of his sound on his new release Rule of Thirds.

Performing as Azure Blue, Tobias Isaksson looks back to the 1980s for much of his sound on his new release Rule of Thirds, and he considers three romantic break-ups as his lyrical inspiration. That doesn't mean he's just a nostalgia act, though, as his electro-pop takes its own turns and his emotional reflections reveal a certain amount of mature distance (even if he might be hiding some of those feelings in pop culture references).

The just-released video for “Seasons” skips the pop culture for the classical, opening with a description of the mythological sirens. The opening's off-putting, hinting that an ex-lover was simply a call to calamity, but the song's dreamy and not offended, Isaksson embracing the time to let go. The new age-y feel to the video supports this idea without completely relinquishing longing. There's something uncomfortable about the visuals that suggests there's a stronger attachment here than we're led to believe, and the video maintains a tension between the music's calm release, the video's soft images, and the idealization of the female form that drives our heartbroken singer to a romanticized sort of hurt, even if he wants to move into the season of release.

The Two Louis: "Pops" and "The Wildest"

New Orleans' two great Louis, Armstrong and Prima, were formed by their hometown and its culture; though both left the city, it never left them or their music. They were both artists and entertainers, gifted musicians, and unabashed crowd-pleasers.

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