Synthwave. The genre that goes against absolutely everything this blog is about: It’s melodic, very mainstream, big and retro.
Yet that’s precisely why I feel it fits in. As a counterbalance to the deep, minimal, repetitive grooves of the underground club tracks.
Plus, it’s a quite geeky genre. Like mainstream pop’s corny little sister. Yeah, we like it.
Pagoda (USA) – Best Laid Plans
Rock guitars, harmonic choir, big snares and tons of reverb on absolutely everything: Oh yes, no doubt about the decade depicted here.
And they shared with us their story on how the song were created:
“We’re a duo, and due to the pandemic we had to create the song in separate places. Mike handled the early production in Virginia and recorded the vocals in Brooklyn while the additional production, mixing, and mastering was done by Jason in his Brooklyn studio. Lots of phone calls and revisions later and here we are.”
So very, very 2020.
The Night Game (USA) – Beautiful Stranger
A different enegry is emitted from this next one, “Beautiful Stranger”, but still very much in line with the eighties sound. And I have to say, the vocalist here has that perfect eighties vibe. I hear a snippet of them all here: From Morten Harket to Richard Page (Mr Mister) to Chris Isaak.
And when such a voice is added to an arrangement like this, well then you’re bound to have a winner.
Crystal (Japan) – Phantom Gizmo
There’s no doubt that syntwave is big in the USA, seeing how a vast majority of the releases comes from over there. So the more fun it is to discover synthwave from other parts of the world. And maybe particularly when it’s from Asia.
Like Crystal, from Japan!
Here they deliver a track that’s so 80s funk synth track it is bound to put a smile on your face. And with a wonderful Japanese playfulness over the arrangement that suits the track just perfectly.
What a FUN track to add to our collection.
All three are added to our very eighties playlist, “More EIGHTIES than the 80s itself“, where we collect all the greatest, most authentic sounding synthwave tracks as we discover them.