Presented by Girl Izi
Tagged as Euro Disco, New Wave, Syth Pop
New wave was closely tied to punk, and came and went more quickly in the UK and Western Europe than in the US. At the time punk began, it was a major phenomenon in the UK and a minor one in the US. When new wave acts started being noticed in the US, the term "punk" meant little to mainstream audiences, and it was common for rock clubs and discos to play British dance mixes and videos between live sets by American guitar acts. By the 2000s, critical consensus favored "new wave" to be an umbrella term that encompasses power pop, synth-pop, ska revival, and the soft strains of punk rock. In the UK, some post-punk music developments became mainstream. According to Music critic David Smay writing in 2001:
Current critical thought discredits new wave as a genre, deriding it as a marketing ploy to soft-sell punk, a meaningless umbrella term covering bands too diverse to be considered alike. Powerpop, synth-pop, ska revival, art school novelties and rebranded pub rockers were all sold as "New Wave."
New wave is a loosely defined music genre that encompasses pop-oriented styles from the late 1970s and the 1980s. It was originally used as a catch-all for the various styles of music that emerged after punk rock, including punk itself. Later, critical consensus favored “new wave” as an umbrella term involving many popular music styles of the era, including power pop, synth-pop, ska revival, and more specific forms of punk rock that were less abrasive. It may also be viewed as a more accessible counterpart of post-punk.
Common characteristics of new wave music include a humorous or quirky pop approach, the use of electronic sounds, and a distinctive visual style in music videos and fashion. In the early 1980s, virtually every new pop/rock act – and particularly those that employed synthesizers – were tagged as “new wave”. Although new wave shares punk’s do-it-yourself philosophy, the artists were more influenced by the styles of the 1950s along with the lighter strains of 1960s pop and were opposed to the generally abrasive, political bents of punk rock, as well as what was considered to be creatively stagnant “corporate rock“.
New wave commercially peaked in the late 1970s and the early 1980s with numerous major artists and an abundance of one-hit wonders. MTV, which was launched in 1981, heavily promoted new-wave acts, boosting the genre’s popularity. In the mid-1980s, new wave declined with the emergence of the New Romantic, New Pop, and New Music genres. Since the 1990s, new wave resurged several times with the growing nostalgia for several new-wave-influenced artists.