Those proponents (Pitchfork, et al) and even the opponents (Cokemachineglow, etc) often agree on one thing: albums by scene-leaders Neon Indian, Washed Out, etc stir a nostalgia for the idea of those memories more than the real thing. And here is where my confusion starts: these albums don't even remotely bring me back to those halcyon days. Other than the occasional 8-bit reference to a Nintendo game sound settling into the mix of warped synth, crunchy guitars and ethereal vocals, this music doesn't connect with me on any nostalgic level, and I assume that I had a pretty standard childhood experience, with cultural touchstones shared with the other brats close to my age and those a few years older. Neon Indian doesn't sound like an old cassette found in the street any more than any other electronic music does. Heavily processed electronic sounds always sound like the future to me, even if they are referencing the technology of the past. Perhaps this is because I wasn't listening to lo-fi, tape-only record labels in the 1st grade, but I have a hard time believing the other gen-y bloggers and music writers born in the early to mid '80s were either.
Curiously, the conscientiously post-modern music that connects with me best on a hazy-nostalgia-emotional-memory level is music that samples '70s and '80s television, like The Go! Team's 2005 masterpiece "Thunder, Lightning, Strike." The album is full of horns and strings found in soundtracks and theme songs for shows like "CHiPS" and "Charlies Angles" that were hits well before my time, but played repeatedly on WGN during Saturday afternoons, once the cartoons were over. "Thunder, Lightening, Strike" immediately conjured feelings of bright primary colors, "Sesame Street," the school bus, art class, aforementioned Saturday afternoons, tree houses, everything good from 20 years ago. But, again the album is likely more about the idea of those memories than the events themselves.
Sidenote: I actually enjoy Neon Indian's debut, "Psychic Chasms," despite the efforts of the hype-machine to ruin it. I'm just lost as to why I seem to be reacting to it in a completely different way than every review I've read.
Is anyone else not having the reaction to the glo-fi genre that the online-music press is wetting them selves over? Thoughts? What new music puts you in a nostalgic mood?