Get Nostalgic With Ghost Beach’s ’90s Playlist
Welcome to Throwback Tunesday, where Mashable amplifies the echoes of music past. With genre trends and throwbacks, we synthesize music and nostalgia.
Josh Ocean and Eric ‘Doc’ Mendelsohn of Ghost Beach know a thing or two about nostalgia. They’ve integrated their love for the ’80s/’90s into tropical, synth-driven electro-pop; the duo’s “retro-future” sound reveals a deep love for these decades. When describing how this past-meets-future aesthetic was born, Ocean recalls, “When we came together and started discovering and playing with analog synths (we have a whole collection of synths that were used in the ‘80s), we wanted to try to manipulate those in a modern kind of a way through computer programs.”
Ghost Beach developed naturally from there on: “We just love music from the ‘80s and ‘90s, and we love songwriting. It just felt right. It seeped into our subconscious and so we did it,” says Ocean. And it’s working for them. Ghost Beach will be touring with Cherub through November and just dropped PROM’s single, Flickers, via their own label, Crazy Heart — the label’s first-ever release.
Mashable chatted with Ghost Beach’s Josh Ocean about one of his favorite decades and the memories that came with it, and combined them into a playlist. From The Smashing Pumpkins to the Baywatch theme song, we reminisce by way of ’90s music.
1. k.d lang — “Constant Craving”
Ocean: I think that we both have talked about that song so much because it stands out as one of those random songs that makes an impression. For me, it was when I was watching VH1 at my grandma’s house (because I didn’t have cable at home). I remember that song playing, and if my mom was in the room, she’d be like, “I love this song!” It was one of those early videos that stuck out.
2. Annie Lennox — “No More ‘I Love You’s'”
The crossing dressing male ballerinas were always creepy, but this song just always pulled me in.
Annie Lennox is one of our all time favorites — we love everything she did with Eurythmics, and this song was another one of those quintessential shocking music videos for an 8-year-old to watch. It was really bold; her facial expressions were kind of crazy. There were cross-dressing male ballerina dudes singing the falsetto parts. It’s weird, but the song is so good. The vocals are so good.
3. Enigma — “Return to Innocence”
For some reason when I put together this playlist, I was in the mindset of visiting my grandma, so this should be the “visiting my grandma’s house” playlist [laughs]. I remember when we heard this song, we were taken aback by the use of the vocal samples. It was sort of ethnic — I don’t know exactly where that sample’s lifted from — but it’s so cool. And it was so original. I remember taking the single tape that I bought and playing it at the dinner table for my grandma, being like, “Listen to how cool this is!”
I grew up on Fire Island, which is a summer community. It was a really cool place to be a kid. In season, we’d play games at the arcade every night. This reminds me of playing video games in the local arcade and feeling the rush of the blue raspberry Slush Puppie I was enjoying. That was just one of the songs that was always playing on the jukebox. It really reminded me of playing foosball and just feeling so happy in the moment.
5. Baywatch theme song
Super fun — there’s nothing more ‘90s than that song to us. There’s just so much to play with and poke fun of in that song. There’s definitely been comparisons of that song with some of the songs we’ve done. I just really, truly loved watching that show when I was a kid. Just sitting on my dad’s couch, watching Baywatch. I loved the beach, I loved the lifeguards — I wanted to be a lifeguard. It was really important. And it was a catchy song.
I love The Cardigans, I’ve always loved The Cardigans, and that song was their biggest hit. I loved that whole album. This may have been the start of my Swedish pop music obsession — they’re really like the first Swedish band that I was actually really, really into. “Lovefool” was my introduction to the band.
And then they put out a song on the Austin Powers soundtrack, which was really my favorite, but nobody would know what it is. I think the song’s called “Carnival.”
7. Sublime — “What I Got”
That’s gotta be on everybody’s ‘90s playlist. That’s another one of those songs that was playing in the arcade when I was a kid. It really got me into music — got me into really wanting to listen to music, to listen to it more closely and learn everything about the band — dive into everything. That album was definitely very transformative. It was the end of the ‘90s, and I was 12 or so when I found the song. It was a major discovery for me. This song really got me seriously into the idea of making music and being in a band and was the beginning my dive into California surf skate punk.
Was this where the whole tropical aesthetic started?
I think that the tropical aesthetic comes from growing up on the beach, in a summer community. I’ve always loved surfing and the ocean — and I eventually went to college in Hawaii. The beach culture has always been important. But really, definitely Sublime plays a huge part in that. They’re surfer/skate dudes from Long Beach, California, so it fits in the vibe of what I’ve always thought was so cool and natural.
8. Len — “Steal My Sunshine”
This is definitely late ‘90s, but the song is just so awesome. I should have hit on more stuff from the whole decade, but every time I do a playlist and I can include that song and it’s relevant, I will. I think that song is super fun. It’s a real pop song — a guilty pleasure pop song — but it’s something I was never afraid to admit that I liked.
What are your ultimate ’90s songs? Tell us in the comments.