Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia Embraces 80’s Sound

Courtesy of dualipa.com

By Angela Hickey

Dua Lipa’s second official studio album Future Nostalgia was released on March 27, 2020 and has been an amalgamation of two years of hard work and dedication. The album is intended to be a “nostalgic” pop and disco album, influenced by artists such as Madonna and Gwen Stefani. This album brings the 80s back in a big way.

Originally working as a model, Dua Lipa signed onto her first music label, Warner Music Group in 2015, releasing her first studio album two years later. This album held her claim to fame, “New Rules”, which reached number 6 on the US charts. Her work has won her many awards, such as the 2019 Brit Song of the Year and the 2019 Grammy for Best New Artist. 

Lipa originally began recording Future Nostalgia in early 2018, recording upwards of 60 songs during the album’s production, and wasn’t fully completed until February 2020.  Predated by 3 singles, “Don’t Start Now,” “Physical,” and my personal favorite, “Break My Heart.” Her released singles reveal a lot about the overall tone of her album. The 11 track album has received a lot of feedback from very popular sources.  According to Rolling Stone, it is, “a breathtakingly fun, cohesive and ambitious attempt to find a place for disco in 2020.”

Following the release of these singles, Lipa gained the title of the first British female artist to have three songs on the Top 10 singles chart in the UK in 65 years. The artist also topped the music charts in 9 different countries. 

“The single ‘Physical’ pairs a somber synth-pop groove with lyrics that nod to Olivia Newton-John’s MOR workout anthem of the same name and a chorus whose melody carries more than a passing resemblance to Patti LaBelle’s ‘New Attitude’ Vulture describes. 

Along with these awards came tons of recognition from mainstream media, especially from the popular app, Tik Tok. Lipa’s songs are dominating the platform in a major way, popularized by many dance challenges that seem to rule over the app. With the introduction of Tik Tok into mass media, many artists, such as Lipa, are getting mass coverage and recognition, creating a whole new way to spread their music and their messages to entirely new audiences. 

This album is a reflection of Lipa’s inner self and reveals her desire to create something that all audiences can enjoy. The album contains mostly fast paced, up beat tunes, aside from two tracks– “Cool” and “Boys Will Be Boys,”– which have a much slower pace and contain deeper, more personal messages from Lipa herself. “Boys Will Be Boys,” the final track of the album, is an amalgamation of Lipa’s personal views of feminism and speaks of experiences and personal fears women have that men may have never had to worry about before. This one song contains everything Lipa has ever said regarding feminism and speaks her view on the topic quite clearly. 

Overall, Lipa isn’t the only one jumping on the 80s revival band wagon. The artist is joining the ranks of artists such as Doja Cat and The Weeknd in embracing songs with an easily recognizable 80s disco style. In comparison to her previous work, Dua Lipa creates a unique sound that is unlike anything we’ve seen from the artist before. Flawlessly mixing 80s funk and modern day sound, this album is definitely a must listen for those who love to just get up and dance.

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