A lot of what I’m calling “The New Pop” shares some similar DNA: the good bits of 80s acts like Wham! and the innumerable hordes that were unleashed from the Stock Aiken Waterman stockade. New Zealand’s Pip Brown started out playing in grunge bands before moving closer to punk with Two Lane Blacktop and into electronic pop with Teenager before embracing the pop she’d grown up with and recording under an alias shared by Rutger Hauer’s best collaboration with Matthew Broderick. “I wanted to make music that could put a smile on people’s faces and give them a feeling of nostalgia even though they may be hearing my songs for the first time,” Brown wrote in her biography on the Ladyhawke website.
That’s what “Paris Is Burning” is – instantly familiar, catchy, harkening back to a dozen other songs while aping none of them. Is it wildly experimental or blazing new territory? No, but it is utterly listenable, something I rank higher and higher as I get settled into my twilight years.