Pop Levi – Medicine
Pop Levi claims these songs were ‘recorded by a different version of me in another dimension, then transmitted to this version of me during prolonged isolation tank sessions’; but Medicine is weird enough to warrant attention without a pseudo-mystical backstory. Plenty of current acts draw upon the aesthetics of early '80s new wave, but Levi is unusual in his affection for the bubblegum silliness of synth-glam outfits like Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
From opener Strawberry Shake’s infectious, handclap-driven garage riff and vocoder-heavy chorus onwards, Medicine is a riotous journey through some of the 80s’ less-revered alt-pop. The most successful songs evoke Prince’s snappy, metallic funk – see Motorcycle 666 – and inject it with a delirious playfulness. Levi’s irrepressible enthusiasm is his greatest strength, but it also means that Medicine is an occasionally wearisome listen. The combination of that effervescent vitality and a bizarre collision of influences, however, makes it genuinely unique.