M83 are a French electronic/Shoegazing band. The main band member is Anthony Gonzalez (composer), and joining him live are Morgan Kibby (who has written and performed on the past two albums), Loïc Maurin (drums), and Jordan Lawlor.
Their career started in 2001 with a Self-Titled Album that received little attention or praise. They released their second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts in 2003: critically praised but commercially ignored for its first year. Then the indie scene picked it up and they gained some popularity. By 2005's Before The Dawn Heals Us, they had gained a fanbase and critics were drooling in anticipation over the album's release. Though not as critically praised as Dead Cities, it got very positive attention. Then Saturdays=Youth was released in 2008, once again getting them good sales and positive critical attention. The band's next album, Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, was issued in 2011 to massive acclaim and its first single, "Midnight City" was named the best song of the year by Pitchfork Media (and in 2012, the song became rather popular on alternative rock radio).
Indie kids love this band. It's very easy to spot why: M83 loves to use experimental sound effects to add to the artistic quality of their albums. Lots of people who aren't indie kids also love this band for the same reasons. Much like how another popular French electronic group was chosen to score TRON: Legacy, they were chosen by director Joseph Kosinski to score Oblivion (2013).
Anthony's brother, Yann Gonzalez, is also a film director. He directed two films, You and the Night in 2013 and Knife+Heart in 2018. M83 provides the original soundtrack for those films.
M83 contains examples of the following tropes:
- Break-Up Song: "Walkway Blues" from Junk
- Epic Rocking:"Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun", "Beauties Can Die", and "Midnight Souls Still Remain" all extend past 10 minutes. Although "Midnight Souls" is more of an ambient drone and not really a "rock" song.
- Everything Is an Instrument: The shoegazing edition.
- Fake-Out Fade-Out: Used in "Outro" from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
- Homage: Saturdays = Youth, from the artwork to the musical style to the music videos, is inspired by 80s Brat Pack era John Hughes movies.
- The Midnight City video seems to be a shoutout to both Village of the Damned (1960) and AKIRA, focusing on psychic children with glowing eyes.
- The Wait video has some shoutout to Princess Mononoke and 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The soundtrack of Knife+Heart draws inspiration from the soundtracks of Giallo films and pornographic films of the 1970s (where the film revolves around).
- "I Am Becoming" Song: "Steve McQueen", wherein the narrator sings about growing stronger than ever.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Road Blaster" is a fun, bouncy song with a saxophone riff in place of a traditional "chorus". So it's easy to not notice that the lyrics say things like, "Evil is God and Im going straight to Hell".
- Mind over Matter: The music videos for "Midnight City" and "Reunion".
- Self-Deprecation: Naming an album Junk probably counts.
- Spoken Word in Music: Multiple examples across the albums, telling stories under the music...
- Before The Dawn Heals Us: "Moonchild," the break from "Safe," and "Car Chase Terror"
- Hurry Up, We're Dreaming: The opening of "Intro," the breaks from "Reunion" and "OK Pal," and the entirety of "Raconte-Moi Une Histoire" (in English) and "Echoes of Mine" (in French).
- Junk has "Bibi the Dog", most of which is spoken in French, some cheerleader-esque chants in "Laser Gun", and the latter half of "For the Kids", which is spoken in English by a young girl.
- Step Up to the Microphone: Anthony sings lead on comparatively few tracks on Junk. Mai Lan is featured on several, while Jordan Lawlor, Susanne Sundfør, and Beck all get one track each.
- Stylistic Suck: Appropriately for the era of music that inspired Junk, the first half of the instrumental track "The Wizard" is made to sound like it's being played back on a decades-old tape that has suffered significant wear and tear over the years.
- Toad Licking: Pretty much all there is to "Raconte-Moi Une Histoire" from Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
- Wanderlust Song: "New Map"
- Welcome to the Big City: "Midnight City" is a subversion; it was inspired by Anthony Gonzalez's admiration of Los Angeles's skyline after spending most of his life in the French countryside.