Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby became one of the most recognizable figures of the synth pop movement of early-’80s new wave. This was largely due to his skillful marketing. Dolby promoted himself as a kind of mad scientist, an egghead who had successfully harnessed the power of synthesizers and samplers and used them to make catchy pop and light electro-funk. Before he launched a solo career, Dolby had worked as a studio musician, technician, and songwriter; his most notable work as a songwriter was “New Toy,” which he wrote for Lene Lovich, and Whodini’s “Magic’s Wand”…

World Party

World Party was the longtime musical project of Welsh-born musician and songwriter Karl Wallinger. A prodigiously talented multi-instrumentalist with a fondness for writing thoughtful, Beatlesque pop, Wallinger released five World Party albums, garnering critical acclaim and yielding a small clutch of hits without ever really lodging himself firmly into the mainstream…

Joe Jackson

Arriving in the middle of the rush of angry young men during the late 1970s, Joe Jackson swiftly established himself as one the great unpredictable talents to emerge during rock’s new wave. Initially playing nervy, punk-inspired pop/rock — his breakthrough single “Is She Really Going Out with Him?” married a smooth melody with barbed lyrics, the racket of “I’m the Man” rivalled the Clash — Jackson branched out into reggae and jump blues before settling into the sophisticated songsmith of Night & Day…

Ron Sexsmith

Ron Sexsmith has a talent for catchy but graceful melodies that’s matched by his skills as a lyricist, drawing compact sketches of love and the trials of everyday life that are heartfelt and compassionate even when he’s being witty, and warm without becoming overly sentimental. Sexsmith’s songs are fine examples of pop classicism and his work as a recording artist has found him maturing steadily throughout his career…

Martha and the Muffins

Based in Toronto, Martha and the Muffins initially comprised Martha Johnson (vocals, keyboards), Martha Ladly (vocals, keyboards, trombone), guitarist Mark Gane, bassist Carl Finkle, drummer Tim Gane, and saxophonist Andy Haas. The group formed in 1977 and, on the strength of their debut independent single, “Insect Love”/”Suburban Dream,” were signed by Virgin U.K…

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