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Live Review: Zolton perfects 80s nostalgia with 'Purple Jacket, Yellow Shoes'

28 May 2018 | 8:15 am | Max Lewis

Sydney singer-songwriter Zolton's debut 'Purple Jacket, Yellow Shoes' (produced by Taka Perry) is a perfect slice of 80s nostalgia with a cheeky edge.

Fresh off a 12 year hiatus after playing in local bands Lucid and Jetstream, Sydney singer-songwriter ZOLTON is back with a vengeance, and his gloriously retro new single, 'Purple Jacket, Yellow Shoes', shows his time off was worth it.

Enlisting 19-year-0ld production powerhouse TAKA PERRY (and mixing by David Hemming), Zolton's song sets its sights on critiquing modern consumerism, all the while taking pleasure in the anachronistic of rose-tinted 80s sounds with modern production.

'Purple Jacket, Yellow Shoes' wastes no time in letting you know exactly what kind of song it's going to be. Warm and warbled synths lead to a wailing guitar lead while a drum machine works its magic in the background. With a melodic progression straight out of a John Hughes movie (replete with pulsing bass arpeggios) the track isn't shy about its influences, and builds on the 80s cliches unashamed - and totally pulls it off. It helps that Zolton's songwriting is good in its own right, but Taka Perry's slick production and the generally cheesy aesthetic propels it into whole other dimension, leading to a perfect slice of 80s inspired pop magic.

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The deeper irony of critiquing fashion trends through the lens of throwback 80s pop (a pervasive trend in its own right) isn't lost on me, and I think its this additional layer that gives 'Purple Jacket, Yellow Shoes' a neat edge. Zolton is having his cake and eating it too, and is fully aware of it - and its this playful nature that really appeals to me. Here's hoping for some more magic from Zolton in the future; at the very least, I'm always down for some glittery rose-tinted pop to get me grooving.