"Very modern and fashionable...lots of potential" THE SOUND SNIFFER
Hailing from North London ‘BUZZKILL!’ hopes to be the statement release The Pink Nostalgia has been teasing. The track is an exploration of self reflection by soloist, Joseph James, confronting anxiety in an indie-electronic way. Since the release of their ethereal self-titled debut EP, The Pink Nostalgia have made waves in the dream-pop scene. With ‘PEACHES’ as the lead single, their sound has been likened to The 1975, Wolf Alice, Fleetwood Mac, Talking Heads, The Japanese House, and Bon Iver, to name but a few. In 2021, The Pink Nostalgia began work on ‘MONOCHROME’. Branded as their conceptual second EP, lead singles like ‘THE COMEDOWN’, ‘PLUTO’ and ‘DRIFTED’ received great praise from their fans and press alike.
Following the success of new track 'Flowers' (August 2022), The Pink Nostalgia have diversified their live portfolio, sharing the stage with artists like Coach Party. Catching the eye of BBC Introducing, his previous tracks mark a new era for the soloist. Essentially drawing focus on ideas of inclusivity and community, Joseph James highlights how heavily the writing process centralised around pressures from other people. Always expecting you “to be somebody you're not”, saying no to such temptations can brand you as a “buzzkill”.
Reclaiming the stigma as an "anthem for buzzkills”, this Yungblud likened track can make everybody feel safe, happy and welcomed in their own skin. The Zip had the opportunity to chat with The Pink Nostalgia [Joseph James] ahead of BUZZKILL!'s release:
Can you detail the inspiration of The Pink Nostalgia, and how this project came to take shape?
The Pink Nostalgia was created in 2020 during lockdown, and as the name suggests, I'm inspired by a lot of ‘nostalgic’ sounds. I love the sounds of the 80s, especially New Wave and New Romantics, which is why my music often has a lot of synth-layers to it. I’m inspired by The 1975, The Japanese House, Bon Iver and Sam Fender, and how layered their tracks are. For me, the project really took shape back in 2021, when I began to gig. I had released music previous to my first live show, but after months and months of not being able to perform, it was such a moment for me to hear the tracks I’d worked on over lockdown come to life in live play. Since then, I feel like I’ve really begun to find my aesthetic and sound, especially this year, since Kodak was released back in January.
BUZZKILL! already has a lot of connotations in the title, but what does the song mean to you?
The song to me is everything that I’ve wanted to say for so long, but haven’t had the courage to, until now. It’s me confronting my anxieties, people's perceptions, and its overall meaning is about celebrating self-care. For so long, I’ve spent so much of my time obsessing over the little things, things that people have said about me or things I categorically cannot change. And where I’m at now, you learn that, what people think of you is none of your business. You may be a buzzkill, cool, that’s okay; just because you don’t fit into what people want you to be, doesn’t make you lesser than anyone else. You’re doing you and that’s enough.
What was the production process like? How did you capture the essence of the track?
I wrote ‘BUZZKILL!’ with my bassist Joshua Crossley, and he’s credited as a co-writer on this track. I think we set about writing a song that was different from the rest of my releases. I have a fair few sadder tracks, like Pluto, some more upbeat ones like Flowers, but nothing that was somewhere in the middle, something angrier, grungier. So BUZZKILL! became that angrier song, born out of our joint styles; that intersection between indie pop and rock, like a grungier deep-dive by The 1975, like ‘Lostmyhead’’.
In production, we wanted to create this heavy wall of sound, something completely tailor made for live play. Even in rehearsals for our upcoming gig, BUZZKILL! makes a bit of a statement, and packs a punch! There are sections in the song that have that beauty that I wanted to capture amongst all the noise; where all the distortion and drive falls away to reveal hidden string sections, and rhythm guitars.
As an artist and curator, what’s your motivation and purpose when releasing new music?
With BUZZKILL! I think my purpose has changed. Usually, it’s about what would sound good live, or trying out new styles to broaden my project. With this song, it’s about the fans. About connecting us through similar experiences. For me, as an artist, a lot of motivation comes from how my fans receive new tracks, especially at our live shows, and because the purpose of this track has changed, hopefully it will mean even more to the fans, and to people who have gone through something similar.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
That you cannot carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, and face it all by yourself. And that in the end, after everything that life throws your way, it’s actually going to be alright.
"The Comedown has a beautiful intensity that comes through on the production" ALFITUDE