Published On: Fri, Sep 11th, 2020

Retro-inspired song actor brings the summery fun to iPhone

If we mashup feel-good summer music, absurd 80s-inspired imagery and retro tech, you’ll get a lightsome and fun web radio use, a supposed “sunniest place on a internet.” The website where we can tide beachy, chill or disco marks in a classical MacOS-like space relaunched final year to move a tiny fun behind to a internet. More recently, a group delivered a Mac app that somehow successfully mixes together a Mac cultured with touches of early Windows. Today, a iOS app has arrived, this time holding impulse from aged Nokia 3310 mobile devices.

The devise indeed began behind in 2014, when owner and sequence businessman Marty Bell was in hunt of some arrange of practical getaway. Bell lives in a Highlands of Scotland, where it’s mostly gray and rainy, he says. And that can be depressing. As an escape, Bell began listening to a certain form of uplifting, happy song around SoundCloud. He motionless it would be fun to have those tunes in a witty sourroundings that also reminded him of his other “happy place” — “80s beach cinema on VHS, where it’s like a American summer dream,” Bell explains.

He afterwards teamed adult with developer Grant MacLennan to launch a initial chronicle of a website, afterwards called Poolside Radio, in 2014. It perceived a handful of accolades and quickly went viral on Twitter, building a tiny cult following.

The site primarily ran on a easy CMS (content government system), where Bell could contention SoundCloud marks and YouTube videos that would afterwards be played during pointless for visitors.

Image Credits:

Over a years, Bell continued to work on his other business endeavors, that ranged from a DJ business with a wardrobe line to a sunglasses association and, later, a financial association called Nude, that helps immature people save adult for their initial home. Though he continued to refurbish’s Instagram, a website for a radio use wasn’t updated for years. Despite a inattention, it continued to see thousands and, sometimes, tens of thousands of visitors per month.

Bell some-more recently returned to a devise with a thought to reinvent a website with an handling system-like look-and-feel, and even paid people to do 3 opposite versions of a site until he found a right team. Unbelievably, a group operative on a devise now do so on a proffer basement in their giveaway time since they find it to be a certain experience. (And maybe since they see long-term intensity in a brand.)

Visitors who go to can switch by several “stations,” any with their possess vibe. The default,, facilities a upbeat song that stirred a devise in a initial place. But there’s also an indie channel, Indie Summer; a chill channel, Hangover Club; and fast-tempo disco, Tokyo Disco.

Since final summer’s relaunch, a updated website has seen 1.5 million listening sessions from some-more than 900,000 individuals, with many of a listening holding place opposite a U.S. (32%), Japan (15%), U.K. (8%), Germany (4%) and Canada (4%). Meanwhile, a recently launched Mac app has already been commissioned 30,000 times opposite a past 3 weeks and was featured by Apple in a “Apps We Love” territory of a Mac App Store.

Today,’s retro cold and rather nonsensical 80s/90s cultured arrives on a iPhone.

But instead of duplicating a user interface from a web, a group combined something new.

The iOS app, built by developer Josh McMillan, references comparison mobile inclination — like a Nokia 3310, that once featured a grainy, pixel-y picture of hands entrance together and shaking. On’s app start screen, however, a identical set of hands now dump a cherry in a martini glass.

Image Credits:

The app’s categorical interface, meanwhile, recalls aged mobile inclination with a use of old-fashioned fonts, pixel-y shading and grainy imagery. Low-bit “video clips” play in a background, assisting broach a retro vibe. You’ll see women with large 80s hair, terrible 80s dancing, classical cars, beach parties and more.

But a app isn’t a classical gray-and-green tone intrigue of aged phones. It’s a splendid and happy pink. You also can opt for other jewel-toned shades in a thesis picker, if we prefer.

The app includes’s full channel lineup, that we can play, pause, skip or go back, and favorite, if sealed in. And notwithstanding a old-school feel, is a complicated app with support for things like credentials play, AirPlay, and a ability to work with your AirPods.

Image Credits:

The group is now 6 people: owner Marty Bell, engineer Niek Dekker, lead developer Lewis King, iOS developer Josh McMillan, Mac developer Will Chilcutt and backend developer Nick Haddad. They’ve finished some side jobs here and there for cash, we’re told, though a cost of using is surprisingly low, Bell tells us.

“The bills are like, we don’t know, we would contend for both Firebase and a hosting, a whole thing is substantially underneath $100 per month,” he guesses. That’s since a video and audio come from YouTube and SoundCloud, that hoop a bandwidth load. The tangible use itself is really light.

Though Bell says investors have been shifting into his Twitter DMs, a group isn’t looking to immediately monetize their project. It’s funny, he adds, how a one business (of so many that he started) that wasn’t designed to be a success — a one with no business plan, in fact — has finished adult attracting a many attention.

“I consider that’s what creates a difference. When you’re only channeling pristine passion into something, with a garland of other people that are operative on it since it’s fun — not since they’re being paid — a kind of product that comes out of that is distinct anything that’s going to come out of a product that’s operative towards KPIs and metrics for investors,” explains Bell. “In that environment, we can’t build something like, where it’s 6 people who are all operative on it in their gangling time, for free, since it’s their happy place and it’s fun to work on. You can’t get that appetite in a business sourroundings really easily,” he says.

That said, Bell does have a few ideas about where a devise could go in a future.

The group already sole a tiny merchandise, like hats and tees. (He’s still make-up adult’s motel-style keychains from his house, he says.) Bell could see a group using projects from a apart company, as “ presents X,” for example.

Post-COVID, these could embody experiential events. But Bell is also articulate to podcast studios about doing a novella podcast series, and a group is meditative about offered some-more earthy products — like pool accessories, naturally.

Of course, we had to ask if Bell finally now has a pool of his own, after all these years. But he hasn’t taken that feat path only yet.

“I really do not have a pool in a Highlands of Scotland. I’m looking out onto a margin full of sheep right now,” he laughs. is a giveaway download for iOS.

About the Author