“It feels like we only go backwards.”
(Tame Impala, 2012)
Although retro revivals are far from uncommon in popular music, a curious development in contemporary retro rock music which seeks to replicate the style and sound of the past is a corresponding development of nostalgic sentiment towards classic rock music, generally originating in the 1960s, which manifests itself in the present generation of musicians and audiences. Unlike traditional nostalgic predilection, say, for one’s childhood, this current trend of reconstructing the past in rock music appears to be geared towards satisfying ersatz nostalgia – a yearning for a past that was never experienced and is only evidenced through cultural artefacts and socially constructed memory. Indeed, whereas artists commonly draw inspiration from what came before (such as the influence of American rhythm and blues music on British rock and roll in the 1960s), the imitation and evocation of the past in contemporary retro rock is...