The Earbug: Gold Fields

I think pop music gets a terrible rap. I feel bad for the genre, thanks to mediocre radio darlings like Carly Rae Jepsen and whomever Disney’s pop star of the week is.

Everyone just assumes the entire style is full of non-talented attractive people with overly whitened smiles and seriously gifted audio engineers backing them. It’s really sad, because if you dive a little deeper you can find some truly excellent pop music by bands that are supremely talented and still play catchy music without making your ears bleed and your IQ drop a few points. Pop music is fun, and a little pop does the soul good. There’s only so much angry metal and sad slow indie a person can listen to.

The recent weather and the way that February seemed to just drag on has set the stage for this week’s Earbug. It’s March now, the spring is supposedly coming and we can all start coming out of hibernation again. In that spirit, let’s listen to some awesome new pop that won’t remove every ounce of your hipster credit.

This week’s Earbug sound is courtesy of a bunch of cute Australian boys who call themselves Gold Fields. I know, calling them cute is totally subjectifying them and unfair to their musical talent, but I really do think they are a hipster One Direction, and it’s just darling.

It is a dark spin on ‘80s dance pop. It has a distinct air of postmodernism to it, with a disregard for the traditional rules of pop rock. They keep the catchy chorus but lose the overly simplistic hooks. Simply put, Gold Fields is pop music for the discerning palate.

The group released their first album on Tuesday, entitled “Black Sun.” It delivers a promising start for a band that will be rocketing to fame in the next few months. The flow of the album is impressive for a band’s first full-length album, delivering a smooth transition from light dance tracks to the more introspective slow tracks. The slower tracks are what really pulled me in. They are airy and dreamy, reminiscent  of the way a late night spent thinking feels. Gold Fields has bottled very abstract concepts and produced a tight, well-made album that will satisfy everyone from the music critic to the pop princess.