From the iconic opening shout of “boy!” to its sputtering, minimalist toy keyboard sound, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue” is an absolute barnacle of a pop song. No line of defense can prevent its insidiously hypnotic blips, whooshes and Krazy Glue chorus from lodging itself into the ever vulnerable human brain. Despite its wide appeal “Electric Avenue” is no lightweight single; it’s an actual, dyed in the wool protest song, written in response to a tumultuous historic event, the 1981 Brixton riot. The song rose as high as the number two spot in both the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1983.
On a new cover, St. Louis pop-rockers Bo and the Locomotive, led by the eponymous Bo Bulawsky, reshape “Electric Avenue” from a propulsive power chant into a plush and handsome pillow of a song, injecting it with a sultry New Order groove, all subtle synth and shy guitar. But turning the song into a fuzzy, glowing chillwave track isn’t the most impressive thing about this sweet cover, nope – it’s that fact that against all odds Bo has somehow made “Electric Avenue” sound like an actual love song. And a really good one at that.