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M83’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming Turns 10: An Enduring Era of Indie

A decade later, the landmark album continues to wrap us in its blinding twilight

M83 Hurry Up We're Dreaming
Illustration by Steven Fiche
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    I’ve heard M83’s “Outro,” the final track of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, in more TV commercials than I can count. Never mind the widespread usage in TV shows, films, and trailers: I’m talking strictly 30-60 second advertisements, the commercials you’d like to mute, tune out, or fast forward through.

    The usage of the song in media was arguably the most widespread around 2014, but even today, ten years after its release, music supervisors still gravitate towards “Outro” because of its humongous, cathartic climax, a waterfall of synths cascading into a vast cosmos of sound. Upon listening to Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming for the first time ten years ago, I doubt many people heard “Outro” and thought to themselves, “This is the sound of leasing a new Mazda.”

    Nevertheless, the song and album truly endure. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming remains a synth-pop landmark of the 2010s; it’s an album that gave Anthony Gonzalez a massive second wind for his M83 project, and a work that epitomizes the optimism and positivity evident in the Obama era.

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    Bolstered by the unavoidable success of “Midnight City,” Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming also signified a clear moment where “indie” and “mainstream” had become synonymous — only to inevitably be swallowed up by the monogenre corporate music machine and eventually, the streaming era.

    The album’s origins lay in Anthony Gonzalez’s move from Paris to Los Angeles around the turn of the decade. After M83’s fifth studio album Saturdays = Youth made waves in the US’s indie scene, the hype had been steadily building for three years –especially with the heavy amount of press from major indie publications (including this one), French neighbors Phoenix becoming a household name in America, and the slow rise of what was then called “hipster” culture.

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    Meanwhile, Gonzalez turned 30 throughout the recording of Hurry Up, and those feelings of forgotten youth began to make their way into the content.

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