In March 2020, Tahiti 80 had a plan to start recording their new album in the studio. That plan, of course, along with everything else in the world, got derailed. But the five-piece group was resilient and resourceful. They quickly shifted to a socially distanced plan B that included file swapping and virtual sessions, all refereed by producer Julien Vignon. The result, is the buoyant Here With You, a collection of eleven upbeat songs that unfold like a prescription for a post-pandemic panacea.
The songs on Here With You are brimming the feeling of communion that we've all been missing over the past two years. It's there in the catchy opener Lost in the Sound, which walks the walk with Chic guitar flicks, urban nightfall sparkles and an inviting chorus (“Your heart grooves like a thousand 808s on the right time”). It's there in the Jackson 5-style syncopated bounce of “Vintage Creem,” the lush, dreamy “Breakfast in L.A.” and the panoramic sweep of “UFO.” And it's there in the first single “Hot,” which matches an irresistible groove with a neon-lit, percolating arrangement that evokes the disco clubs of 1979.
What's remarkable is that though Tahiti 80 displays a clear affection for sounds of the past, from bubble gum to '70s soul, they never trade in mere pastiche. Their take is more a slightly warped and playful carnival mirror mash-up of classic pop styles, given depth through Boyer's hang-gliding, coolly emotive vocals and lyrics that often rub against the euphoric grain of the music.