A tale of two “Raccoons” theme covers: @BrightLightx2 and @Spraypopmusic revive “Run With Us”

BRIGHT LIGHT BRIGHT LIGHT, “Run With Us”

SPRAY, “Run With Us” (Matt Pop remix)

In one of the stranger coincidences in 2017, “Run With Us”, the late 80’s theme song to a Canadian kids’ TV program – which ran from 1985 to 1992 and itself followed a series of full length animated features starting in 1980 – shows its enduring effects!  It gets a new lease on life with two new reverent cover versions of the Lisa Lougheed original (a minor Canadian hit which I know very well and peaked at #69 nationally in 1988, below), one by none other than Bright Light Bright Light, and the other by those cool UK wordsmiths and purveyors of pop, Spray.

Bright Light x2 (aka Rod Thomas) just released his EP Cinematography 2: Back In The Habit, a gloriously curated 6-pack of cover versions, including Madonna’s “Causing A Commotion”, Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, and Lisa Loeb’s “Stay (I Missed You)” – as well as “Run With Us”.  Rod’s rendition could have easily competed with the original in the 80’s, definitely intended as a loving interpretation that was obviously something important to him when he was much younger, and has stuck like glue through adulthood.  Needless to say, it’s great!

Spray, the duo of Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn whose music I have also written about a number of times, actually covered “Run With Us” back in 2007 for their album Children Of A Laser God.  With impeccable timing – there is apparently a 2017 “Raccoons Dance” or something like that in the works by original TV show creator Kevin Gillis – they’ve brought their enthusiastic rework into 2017 with a jazzed-up remix by Matt Pop (who recently did similar wonders for Nathalie Archangel’s Billboard charter “Unleashed”) as well as a lyric video.  It’s a different take on the song from Bright Light Bright Light’s, but they go kind of hand-in-hand in inspiration.

So all of you lovers of that old “Raccoons” theme can immerse yourself with two solid throwbacks – both available at all digital stores.

Go on, figure it out: “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown” by @Spraypopmusic

SPRAY, “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown”

Or maybe, just don’t!  The 80’s-soaked recent album by British europop duo Spray called Enforced Fun is full of lovable, downright eccentric songs that somehow all tie together, but for that explanation you’d have to ask creators Ricardo Autobahn and Jenny McLaren and their collaborators (you’ll also find some Charlie Mason songs present and even Jane Badler!).  So like many an 80’s musical act (think China Crisis, for example), what the songs are all about are secondary to the rhythms, melodies, and the whimsical approach that Spray take in their concept-styled album.  “It’s The Night Of The Long Knives, Charlie Brown” (including that comma in the song title) is worth the price of admission for the title alone, but Jenny’s  knowing vocal tells the tale of something that should be ominous and dangerous, but ends up in legend.  So that’s my take on it folks, you can enjoy all of Enforced Fun by picking it up on most platforms, and watch the lyric video above.

ElectroPOP! @DaveAude & @AndyBell_info “True Original” and @Spraypopmusic & @KidKasio with “It’s Not Enough”

Is there a mini-revival going on am I just imagining it?  I’m talking about British electroPOP.  Granted performers from other countries also did well in this dance music genre, but no one did it like the Brits in the 80’s.  

DAVE AUDE featuring ANDY BELL, “True Original”

There are too many performers to mention, but electroPOP came along during the New Wave era, and stayed long past.  Erasure is one of the originators of this style, and the duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell came back big time last year with The Violet Flame album, yielding three Top 10 club hits with “Elevation”, “Reason”, and “Sacred”.  In a side partnership with the renown producer deluxe Dave Audé (who seemingly remixed just about everything in 2015) , Andy was the vocalist on Dave’s #1 club smash “Aftermath” as well.  And so this pair are back with pure, no-nonsense electroPOP with “True Original”, which has already vaulted into Billboard’s Top 25 Dance Club Play songs.  It’s a splendid, happy song for the mid-winter blahs and should quickly soar to the top of the dance club charts.  Like with “Aftermath”, Dave’s production has brought out the best in Andy’s voice as in Erasure’s halcyon days.  Though I’m not crazy about its video, “True Original” is slick, bouncing, beautiful, electroPOP bliss.

SPRAY + KID KASIO, “It’s Not Enough”

Although this other duo hasn’t been around as long as Erasure and haven’t had chart success like them or Dave Audé, the bold and prolific Spray – Jenny McLaren and Ricardo Autobahn, noted for songs such as “I Am Gothic”, “You Can Always Go Home” and even “Everything’s Better With Muppets” – can ride this electroPOP train with one of their best efforts to date called “It’s Not Enough”.  Featuring fellow Brit Kid Kasio, this partnership also sounds just fab together.  Great vocals, a powerhouse chorus, and enough high-end to leap out of the speakers make “It’s Not Enough” memorable enough to grab you by the feet and keep them glued to the dance floor.  Pick it up on iTunes.