The 60s were an interesting time for culture. Psychedelia blossomed, counter-culture movements sprung up all around the world, and the most famous band in the world was at the peak of their fame. But for those who preferred less of that rock-and-roll “nonsense,” there were other options as well. Bossa nova in Brazil became a force to be reckoned with, and French pop musicians cultivated their own homegrown audience. These styles of music showed that enjoying music didn’t have to be an energetic, tiring affair–they instead allowed the listener to mellow out and relax. Today, the spirits of those influential musical movements live on in the music of Vira Talisa, a rising Indonesian singer-songwriter.
A modern day yé-yé girl, Talisa draws upon the music of yesteryear as the basis for her own compositions. Everything about her image is calculated: just take a look at the cover art for the singles that she’s released so far. Every single one of them is carefully designed to emulate a record release from that era–the font, the fashion, the “stereo” logo are all strangely nostalgic. Any unsuspecting listeners would think that they were listening to some forgotten 60s pop record… instead of one from 2017. That trend continues with Talisa’s latest release, “Down in Vieux Cannes”.
“Down in Vieux Cannes” is a breezy, inspired, mostly-French song that perfectly captures the sound of the era. There’s even the “ba da ba da” melody that is so often used in easy-listening songs, and Talisa’s soft, lovely voice carries the tune with ease. She even incorporates the type of naive lyricism that yé-yé was known for at the time. “One day you will wake up / Knowing that the world is greeting you / Dark times have their reasons / Now that it’s over / It’s time to wonder / If love was true”, she sings hopefully in one of the song’s brief English segments. If anything, “Down In Vieux Cannes” will undeniably brighten up your day.
Never again do you have to wonder what it’s like to live in the 60s: just press play and find out.