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St. Lucia – All Eyes on You

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When you get to a certain age there comes a point when you have absolutely no clue about what’s going on in modern music. You don’t really understand how it happened and you don’t really want it to be true – but it’s exactly the same process that pop stars go through when they find themselves supplanted by a new generation. If change is to happen you absolutely have to  become something people who weren’t even born when Vogue was no.1 roll their eyeballs at. But if you’re very lucky, sometimes a kindly young person will take you under their wing and occasionally let you know what is considered to be acceptable at the current time. Madonna has Lourdes to do this for her, I have my friend Sebastian, who occasionally sends me a Spotify playlist in much the same way you’d send a care package to an elderly relative.

Most of the time I’m all “what is this racket? That’s not MUSIC” and I get huffy and retreat to the safe haven of a Bananarama record. But sometimes my ears prick up and I get that tingly feeling that always signifies a song I’m going to love, accompanied by a brief but beautiful sense of having regained cultural relevance. This was overwhelmingly the case with All Eyes on You by St. Lucia.

Trust it to be a heavily 80s-influenced synth pop record from 2013 that grabbed my attention, but All Eyes on You is much more than a throwback. It’s actually rather a minimal take on that sound – like an Alan Tarney production on Xanax, although in parts it calls back Pacific State by 808 State with its treated saxophone. It also has a dramatic piano segment in the middle, just before all the constituent parts come crashing back in, and that is obviously always going to be alright by me. It’s almost as good as the one in Private Investigations by Dire Straits, and that is really saying something.

Curiously, and no doubt entirely co-incidentally, the phrasing – just the phrasing – in the chorus of this also crops up in Taylor Swift‘s All You Had to Do Was Stay from last year’s 1989 album. The songs bear no resemblance to each other whatsoever, but it makes me happy.

 

Entered chart: did not chart

Who could sing this today and have a hit? It would be easier for everyone concerned if it got used in a high profile TV show and everyone bought the original. Oh, it did. In that case Nick Jonas.

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