As the temperature slowly starts to rise, I think we’re all looking for new upbeat music to bring us out of that winter slump. Cold temperatures require slow, sad music, but anything above 55 F calls for something more fun.
I came across “Like 1999” by Valley a few weeks ago, and as soon as I heard it, I was transported into happier times. The song is nostalgic and sweet, asking a lover to come over and pretend life is less complicated.
The lyrics are relatable but a bit corny, such as “I wanna get texts, but I never wanna text back.” However, I think the track’s fun and energetic instrumental makes up for the cheesiness.
The majority of the backing track consists of guitar strums, but the layering of sounds adds depth to an otherwise straightforward instrumental.
The song sounds both new and old, finding that sonic sweet spot between sounding fresh but also calling back to past music. It’s a sound I love, and it fits in this song perfectly.
Two voices sing together, asking each other to come over. The female voice sings “we would stay forever classic. You and I both be trapped in, in 1999.” They then sing together “So what are you doing tonight?”
“Like 1999” touches on themes of finding a safe sphere and just being together, finding a time before the internet and social media took over.
I love the image the song creates. It’s easy to get lost in the busy schedules and endless workloads that come with college, so I think we can all relate to the desire to just run away for a bit, to see a significant other and not worry about our problems.
Sometimes life feels like it’s constantly piling things on — midterm season, for example. I also sometimes wish for an escape to watch old television shows and have a much-needed break.
“Like 1999” puts these feelings into words and instrumentals, inviting you to imagine a world where it’s only you and your loved one watching “Friends” and relaxing without a care in the world.
Also, the ’90s are romanticized in society today. Fashion trends and music from that era are widely known and considered iconic. By choosing this time period as the theme for their song, Valley touches on an era of pop culture that many hold dear.
This further sells the appeal of the escape. Not only are you safely isolated from your problems with your significant other, but you are also transported into a period of pop culture heralded as legendary.
It’s impossible to make a song about the ’90s without a callback to some iconic movies and TV shows from that era. “Like 1999” is complete with references to “10 Things I Hate About You” and “Friends.”
Valley does recognize this escape isn’t permanent, since they always say “act like it’s 1999.” It’s all an act, but even in those stolen moments, they can pretend the world is simple, at least for a bit.
Overall, it’s a fun song that makes you want to get up and dance. It has an infectious hook and good vibes. What else do you need?
The song is packaged as a summery pop song, but it truly delves into the common desire for escape and relaxation with a loved one. As a college student, this sentiment definitely hits home. It’s also just enjoyable to listen to.
If you’re looking for that type of escape, just play this song and imagine. I can’t wait to see how this song sounds when I blast it in my car this summer.