Primed with copious party-ready peppiness and pitch-perfect production values, Private Sunshine feels very much a product of the era its modelled upon, rendering a retro-gilded bubblegum world alongside turn of the century house music nods. Hayter recalibrates her sound, to an extent, on a tracklist governed by pure ephemerality – an escapist sophisto sheen, strident in tapping the spirit of the age it emulates; echoes of Madonna’s breakthrough phase joining the carefree charisma of other post-disco contemporaries.
Hayter plasters the record with coolly nonchalant vocals alongside lavish electronic segments, flaunted with a panache that translates into addictive shots such as “My Baby Just Cares For Me”, recalling the Hi-NRG of Stacey Q, and “Still Dreaming”, leaning towards early Bananarama and recent French disco revivalists such as Jupiter. The string of influences informing the album are at the forefront, pinpointing a specific style with discerning affection and attention. Particular tribute is paid, in this respect, to icons Steely Dan, with Hayter applying vivacious Pointer Sisters energy to a cover of Gaucho-era number “Time Out of Mind” – fitting neatly, in its updated garb, amongst the electro-pop abundance. Elsewhere, the title-track’s Grace Jones-esque synth score zones in on the hyperrealism of a decade famed for its extravagance, capturing the emerging creative buzz at the dawn of the ‘80s, an exuberance gifted more room to develop with additional standout “You Again”.
Pushing forward on a path marked by synth-toting songwriting, Private Sunshine appears a natural progression. Rather than deal a glib homage to an oft-imitated decade, Hayter orientates around its nuances with a sense of finer detail – one that easily stands as a credible time capsule, rather than a well-trodden form of mimicry.