First the song, then some remarks. Just heard this brand-new single tonight on college radio. Link to full song because it's not on YouTube, and Spotify only embeds a 30-second sample (gay).
Well well well, more signs of the dance-rock revival I've been predicting for the first half of the 2020s. We're out of the vulnerable phase of the excitement cycle (2015-'19), when energy levels are crashed into a refractory state and people just want to hide in their cocoons.
As of this year we've entered the restless warm-up phase, one of whose hallmarks is dance fever. That includes dance-rock fusion, which defined the last restless phase in the late 2000s (see here and here).
The manic phase has even crazier dance music -- early 2010s, late '90s, early '80s -- but when people are just waking up from a slumber, they need simple-step exercises to get their bodies back into the swing of things.
In "Something I Can Dance To" by Alright Years, there's another sign of the 15-year excitement cycle -- it's a nostalgia song, consciously referring back to an earlier time. And what do you know? -- it's nostalgic for the same phase of the cycle. It's out in 2020, a restless phase, and the lyrics refer to the last restless phase, the second half of the 2000s (Superbad, iPod shuffle, 2007). This is part of a consistent pattern of nostalgia songs reminiscing about the same phase of the cycle.
It would've been impossible to create this song in the late 2010s, when the mopey mood prevailed. (In fact, the hit nostalgia song of that period was "2002" by Anne-Marie, referring back to the last vulnerable phase.) But now that we've shifted into the restless phase, and energy levels have recovered to baseline, the musical mood has changed from emo to scene. It just sounds like it's from 2007 -- mainly Metro Station, with a little Panic! at the Disco in the vocal delivery of the pre-chorus.
Also worth noting that it's in a major key, unlike the nearly uniformly minor-key mood of a vulnerable phase. Nice hi-hats on the offbeat to set up the disco rhythm for dancing. Very bouncy.
All it needs is a MySpace-themed video -- if not a proper band video, then at least an animation of the original MySpace music player, with the track information and colored bars showing the volume.
It'll take a few years before it reaches peak intensity, but dance-rock fever is back baby!