Browsing Tag


Realer started the simulation with his bass-driven retro wave hit, Turn Me On Again

Turn Me on Again by Realer

The Scottish bassist turned one-man powerhouse Realer started the 80s synth pop simulation in his latest single, Turn Me on Again, which cuts right to the core of our contemporary proclivity to lose ourselves in the dopamine of our favoured procrastination-inspiring time vacuums.

Ingeniously, the reprise of Turn Me on Again can be taken as plugging into the digital domains that are becoming all-consuming, and with the funky 80s pop synthetics at play, it can similarly be deciphered as a cry into the void for a shot of visceralism derived from the real world. It is so easy to tell people to go out and touch grass, but when everyone is too addicted to their phones to venture out and experience verdant pleasures, it’s easier said than done to find connection away from the fake fray of online mediocrity.

Bass solos may not get the rep they deserve in the mainstream consensus, but if anyone has what it takes to advocate for them, it is Realer, with his trailblazing technical rhythms, which disrupt the sticky sweet synths, and are enough to make the most euphoric hits from the Human League sound positively melancholic.

Turn Me on Again is now available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

LJ Pheonix & The Renegades – In Time: Seductively Entropic Synth-Rock

LJ Pheonix & The Renegades

With dark and sinister synths that are as harbingering as the ones in the Slumber Party Massacre soundtrack, the intro to the latest gothy synth-rock single, In Time, from LJ Pheonix & The Renegades, reeled us in hook, line, and spacey sinker.

The 80s-reminiscent post-punk croons crawl into the mix as a scintillatingly soulful rapture as they boast all the atmosphere of Echo and the Bunnymen and the Psychedelic Furs. As the single progresses, interstellar psychedelia starts to amass amongst the dark tones constructed by the wailing guitars and stabbing synth lines to absorbingly disconcerting aphrodisiacal effect.

If the rest of the debut LP, Atlantis, is as warped in entropic sex appeal as In Time, the new up-and-coming UK powerhouse will easily seal their infamous fate.

In Time will release on all major platforms on April 9. Check it out via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Positronic signed, sealed, and delivered a 80s synth-pop postcard with his latest single, A Long Goodbye


With an edge of 80s synthpop sharpening the future-embracing textures in the ardently dreamy release that picks up plenty of visceral weight from the crooned harmonies, the latest single, A Long Goodbye, from Positronic will warm even the most sub-zero souls.

Odes to the 80s can often sound trite at best – there was never any danger of that with the reminiscences to icons of aural cool such as Editors, noted through the harshness of the snares, the chillier timbres and the sheer depth of emotion in the vocals.

The unassimilated gravitas of A Long Goodbye starts to make infinitely more sense with a glimpse at the artist and producer’s biography; the solo artist has been in the synth-pop scene since 1988, spurred on by the love of The Pet Shop Boys, OMD, Erasure and Depeche Mode. The Cali solo artist is just as talented as the artists he pulled inspiration from.

A Long Goodbye will officially release on March 31st; hear it on Positronic’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In The Papers: Cardiff’s The Vanities wonders if we will see the future on Private Army

Swerving away from their usual sound with an epically performed orchestral affair to hold hands in hope with, The Vanities strike the clocks of our moral code with a rather special effort which is due for release on 31st March, Private Army.

The Vanities is a Cardiff, Wales-based 90s-fused grungey-like 80s synth/electro-pop/rock outfit that only ceases to amaze the underground with its tailored-for-excellence sound.

After impressing all listeners with previous marvels Dropping A Bomb, London and Hollywood Hills, The Vanities simmer deeply about the ravaging wars and the scarcely believable actions of humankind.

Sung with genuine care to the state of play in the world and bringing us such a different experience, shows us their astute brilliance and all-around authenticity in a seemingly fake world.

Private Army from the excellently projected Cardiff, Wales-based band The Vanities is a quite spectacular song which deserves all the love in the world. There is a leader-like mentality on offer and soaring melodies to get lost inside. Breathless throughout and giving humanity a message to hear at full volume, this is proper music for the soul alright.

Listen up closer on Soundcloud.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Bella Moulden soaked synth wave with soul in her latest single, Wire

The moody stabbing synth lines and caustic rock guitar cuts create an intoxicating contrast to Bella Moulden’s soul-soaked vocal lines in her ode to 80s synth wave, Wire.

The 21-year-old singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist may have achieved viral acclaim via TikTok with her earlier release, SelfCare, but if any artist has what it takes to create a sustainable career with her juxtaposingly absorbing creativity, it is Bella Moulden.

The Buffalo, NY-born artist has already received plaudits from everyone from Peaches to The Black Keys to Juliette Lewis; her latest single will undoubtedly garner her even more acclaim for the way her sultrily sincere vocal timbre wraps around the lyricism that alludes to the hesitancy that gnaws away at the nectar of the honeymoon phase in a relationship.

Stream Wire on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Autoleisureland Interview: Showing us what fresh experience sounds like on Infiniti Drive

Opening up the cupboard and slicing us some tasty 80s nostalgia to nibble on, the excellent UK act Autoleisureland sat down with A&R Factory to delve into about all things Infiniti Drive and more. Honest and insightful, we’re even bigger fans now and unconditionally love their late career resurgence while doing what they love.

We appreciate you taking the time to chat with us today Autoleisureland. Firstly, please guide our loyal readers deep inside where your new music creation is currently based and who is involved in the project?

Autoleisureland: Hi, we’re Autoleisureland and we’re based between Sunderland and Newcastle, two cities in the North East of England. We’re a duo, comprising of Paul Woods, vocals, and multi-instrumentalist David Brewis. In a previous life, we were two founding members of The Kane Gang, a successful and critically acclaimed indie soul band.

Let’s swerve into your upcoming debut album Infiniti Drive, can we? What was the vision around the release and process to get the sound you both desired?

Autoleisureland: I suppose it started a few years ago when Dave was working on his instrumental album. Every week before we popped out for a beer, he’d drop off a new mix or new track. I really liked them and started on lyrics for some of them. I started giving him lyrics and ideas for new songs. Eventually, we came up with the song Autoleisureland and that was the catalyst for the sound we were going for in our heads. Stylish, sophisti-pop, sort of all our influences coming together. After that we never stopped, songs just kept on coming. We are what you could call music veterans and we never thought we’d be doing a late-career thing, but we felt it was so good and fresh, we had to put it out there.

How is the music scene doing in your local area and do you feel like live music is 100% back or not yet?

Autoleisureland: We’re no experts anymore, but it seems to be making a very slow recovery. I think it’s going to be hit again shortly with the UK recession looming.

When you close your eyes and imagine playing inside a packed stadium live with screaming fans aplenty, what does it feel like?

Autoleisureland: A long time ago, packed venues and a little less screaming. Sadly, nowadays I probably wouldn’t go to a place with that many people. Also, Autoleisureland so far is strictly a recording project. We’re in a hurry to get so much out there, before even considering live work.

If you could open for any band currently performing live, who would it be and why?

Autoleisureland: Dave suggested Hall & Oates as back in the day we had a planned tour with them cancelled, so it would be nice to have a dream fulfilled. For me, Poolside plays some interesting gigs – beautiful Mexican coastal venues and Californian wineries. I could go for that.

What do you think the music industry in the UK and worldwide needs more of?

Autoleisureland: More streaming payments for music creators should be a priority. Musicians should be fairly paid for their creations. People pay for food, chocolate bars, and beer, so why not music? I’ve worked in newspapers and music, two products that people expect to have for nothing. You can bet when that happens, the products will in time become devalued. When you have so much free music, for instance, that you have not invested in, you won’t even invest your time in it. Hence, usually a one-minute cut-off time on songs on streaming platforms. Sorry, I’m on my soapbox.

Infiniti Drive is ready to be loved on Spotify. Find out more about these well-chiselled gents on Facebook.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

The Spheres packed their alt indie synth-pop debut, The City of Lights, with evocative kryptonite

If it’s been a while since a debut single has left you utterly obsessed, delve into The Spheres’ alternatively inclined amalgam of 80s synth pop, indie-rock, and dance, The City of Lights. From the suburbs of Toronto, the duo lit up the airwaves with their infectiously hook-rife account of the frontman’s complicated relationship with his city of birth, Karachi, Pakistan. “In the city of lights, you die just for dreaming”, is cuttingly efficacious in alluding to the toll it took on the singer-songwriter and producer Reza Habib.

With the vibrato in the vocals spilling evocative kryptonite across the catchy synth-pop melodies, The City of Lights will blind you with its luminous soul before the solid riffs and punchier vocals conclude the track on a raucous high that will leave you itching for more. Thankfully, that itch will be scratched as more singles from the debut album will drop before its full release in Spring 2023.

Stick The City of Lights to your synapses by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

80s icon, Rocketball 007 has made a spacey comeback with his single, I Can’t Look at You Enough

Originally formed in the 80s and with multiple 7” records on the Punk Collector’s List, we’re stoked to have Rocketball 007’s latest single, I Can’t Look at You Enough, in our ears.

With a sound frequently assimilated yet rarely authenticated, the synth-driven, spacey-with-romanticism single would be right at home on the Wild at Heart soundtrack. Through the crooning into the reverb vocals and the scintillating retro analog synths, which stab right into the beating heart of the atmospheric release, it imparts ample neon synaesthesia. Any true 80s pop fans will want to jump on I Can’t Look at You Enough like cats on catnip. It isn’t every day that you get to revel in the real visceral deal.

I Can’t Look at You Enough is now on Spotify, and Rocketball 007’s entire discography is available to stream and purchase on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jermare Harrison spills all in his synthy 80s RnB pop single, Secret to Tell

American singer-songwriter Jermare Harrison doused us in 80s soul with his divinely synthy seminal single, Secret to Tell, which flows in the same lush vein as icons Soul II Soul and Alexander O’Neal, with plenty of room for authenticity to spare.

The beckoning lyrics through his smooth RnB pop harmonies invite the listener into the intimacy of his candour while the mellow percussion and soft synth layers orchestrate a dreamy sense of catharsis. It’s a timeless classic single from the artist who made his debut in 2015 after immersing himself in the performing arts world at the age of five. We can’t wait to hear what’s next from the impassionedly talented artist.

Secret to Tell is available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Super Love showed us the light side of ‘The Moon’ in their latest 80s-inspired polyphonic alt-pop single.

Here with another slice of polyphonic 80s alt-pop nostalgia is the indie power couple Super Love; their synergy and chemistry more than translated in ‘The Moon’.

Oscar Wilde may have created the old gutters and stars adage, but why get your interstellar bliss from anyone else but someone already living it? Metaphorically speaking, of course, but you get the gist.

Despite the instrumental minimalism, The Moon is radiant under the polyphonic keys, the low and almost dreamy basslines and vocals that effortlessly exude a Blondie-level of cool while wrestling with sticky-sweet lyricism.

The Moon will officially release on April 15th; you can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast