Browsing Tag

Synthpop

Music

Exit Spells bring us a perfect slice of sparse Eighties electropop with ‘Bishops’

Exit Spells

Exit Spells – the brainchild of introspective composers Chris Kennedy and David Cantallo – is a wash of vintage synthesisers and sequencing, drum machines and samples, a batch of TR808 and Moog sounds creating ambient textures and soundscapes behind delicate melodies and breathy, semi-spoken vocals.

It’s old-school in all the right ways, a step back from the ‘four sweaty men standing in a rehearsal room’ band approach, melancholic yet hopeful, introspective yet immediate. There’s a big eighties vibe here, swathes of Ultravox, Visage, or Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the vocals reminiscent of Ure, Foxx, or Oakey, the track sparse and electronic but optimistic and ultimately uplifting.

Exit Spells’ four track EP – from which ‘Bishops’ is taken – is out now; you can also check out Exit Spells on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Lina and the Lions – This Fire: 80s Synthpop with a K-Pop Kick

‘This Fire’ is the first single to be released from the forthcoming debut album ‘Second Nature’ by UK-based artist Lina and the Lions which revives the New Wave 80s Pop sound with a K-Pop kick.

With shimmering glassy synths and melodic hooks, sharp enough to ensure that this entrancing earworm isn’t easily forgotten, fans of 80s Pop and contemporary dark Pop alike are going to encounter a playlist staple when they delve into this amorously visceral and stylistic release.

The instrumentals may be cutting and atmospheric, but Lina Lane’s soulfully effervescent art-pop vocals burst through and demonstrate her ability to make higher pitches resonate with infectiously high-energy soul. It’s hard not to get excited about the potential of Lina and the Lions. They’ll be releasing their album gradually over 2021. Get them on your radar.

This Fire is available to stream via Spotify now. For more information on Lina and the Lions head over to their official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Westerner is set to release their polyphonically enrapturing Indie Synth Pop hit ‘Restless’

Westerner

Indie Synth Pop doesn’t come much more entrancing and anthemic than the forthcoming release ‘Restless’from the LA-hailing trailblazing masters of rhythmic electronica, Westerner.

With lockdown claustrophobia thick in the air, this exuberantly dynamic release perfectly captures the collective frustration as the desperation to live instead of simply exist intensifies. All the while, Restless feeds you euphoria through the deftly crafted sticky-sweet polyphonic progressions which unravel with a kick of psychedelia.

You’ll have to wait a little longer before you can check out Restless for yourselves. In the meantime, head on over to the artist’s Spotify to check out their earlier releases.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

MOTIV – ‘Don’t Let Yourself Down’  

MOTIV

In a world of manufactured angsty alt-rock and generic R&B and trap-based pop-dance, it’s always refreshing when an artist does something different; with this track, MOTIV produces something close to eighties synth-pop – think Pet Shop Boys, Nik Kershaw, or Howard Jones – but with a modern, updated twist.

It’s ridiculously catchy, too. The ‘Don’t Let Yourself Down’ hook of the track’s title squirms its way into your head and refuses to leave for hours after the track has finished. Yet, it perseveres with an almost-ambient set of eighties-style production values – heavy reverb, old-school sequenced and gated drum beats, and a synth melody which mimics the vocal line, all whirling and writhing around that lyrical hook. ‘Don’t Let Yourself Down’ is a perfect slice of danceable, singable pop that’s a beautiful antidote to 2020’s lockdown blues.

Follow MOTIV on Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

MASSIVESAD – Re: Builds: A Melancholically Mesmeric Playlist Essential

It’s been a while since a new track literally gave me goosebumps. Yet, the chill crept across me before the first verse hit in MASSIVESAD’s melancholically mesmeric Alt-Indie single “Re: Builds”.

The Floridian artist and songwriter found the perfect balance of smoky, sludgy atmospherics and striking soul in Re: Builds’. The track starts as a melodic and almost Neo-Classic Electronica score before the soundscape gains momentum and starts to offer electrifyingly static aural turbulence. The evolution in the track perfectly captures the feeling of losing control after starting out with poise, grace and good intent.

You can waste your time attempting to pigeonhole each beguiling component in Re: Builds. Or you can simply let the alchemy unfold in this truly pioneering single which doesn’t ostentatiously throw aural futurism in your face. Instead, there’s a real sense that MASSIVESAD through themselves completely into the candid and evocatively transfixing release. And in the process, they created one of the aptest tracks for our dystopic and dark times. 

You can check out Re: Builds for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Positronic brings ‘80s influence to 2020 to this upbeat electronic track

Created by Michael L. McDannold, Positronic brings ‘80s influence to 2020 adding an explosion of synthpop to this upbeat electronic track that certainly has no plans of falling down. Professing that he’ll “be there for you”, in the lyrics of the track, Positronic spreads love and positivity with the release of this song, “When You Fall Down”.

Positronic has been making music since 1988, so it is not surprising he is inspired by the likes of the Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, and Erasure, which can definitely be heard within this track. Uplifting, inspiring, and elevating, Positronic sure knows how to deliver with this one.

Click here to listen on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/0q8Tjm77tF0P98FM2PF0Ci?si=1OgFc5erSLeR1DJ_-l97CQ

Music

Martin – the haunting acoustic ballad “Depth Over Distance”

Starting off with crystal clear fingerpicked chords, ‘Depth Over Distance’ is the second single from London singer-songwriter Martin, the follow-up to debut ‘Summer Haze’. Where ‘Summer Haze’, though, was synth-driven alt-pop, ‘Depth Over Distance’ pits Martin’s soulful falsetto over nothing more than a haunting solo acoustic guitar.

It’s a tough thing to do, the sparse instrumentation leaving no space for a performer to hide, but here the result is powerful and touching, a very personal break-up ballad filled with the heartbreak of a relationship which has died. Sure, there’s an easy James Blunt comparison, or maybe in this instance the early Ed Sheeran of ‘The A-Team’, but in reality, Martin’s voice is reminiscent of Annie Lennox on ‘Walking On Broken Glass’ or ‘Why’ mixed with, maybe, a touch of Justin Vernon – a plaintive falsetto, questioning and heartfelt without being cloying, and it matches the song perfectly.

Martin’s debut EP ‘Home’ is out later this summer; you can keep up with him, and listen to ‘Depth Over Distance’, here.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Camp Cosmos invite you to succumb to the slick synthy Indie catharsis in latest track “Minnow”

If you’re looking for slick, synthy Indie aural goodness, hit play on the latest single “Minnow” by up and coming Indie artist Camp Cosmos.

If you’ve been feeling like you’re swimming against the tides recently, Minnow acts as 3 minutes of pure cathartic escapism on offer.  Minnow convincingly invites you to float along with the synth-carved stylistic rhythms which simply ooze those frequently sought good vibes. The playful eccentricity and personality in the vocals combined with the indulgent up-vibes melodies offer all of the organic feel-good vibes you could ask for.

All things considered, it’s the perfect mellow Summer Synth Pop track. Impress your friends, add the hazy delight to your playlists now.

You can check out Minnow for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Evadaze Ft. Lachlan Andrews – ‘Are We Still Good?’: Perfect summer lockdown electropop

‘Are We Still Good?’ could be the story of 1,000,000 fledgeling lock-down romances, soon-to-be couples forced into isolation and unsure what, if anything, comes next. Catchy, bouncy, electronic pop perfectly backs singer Evadaze’s breathy delivery, guest vocalist Lachlan Andrews delivering a spicy counterpoint in this two-way conversation about love, life, and what might be.

It’s catchy and well-produced, the piano-led melody leaving plenty of space around Shortt’s vocals; the hook finds its way into your head, ear-worm like, and stays put around Lachlan and Shortt’s vocal interplay on the final chorus. A perfect summer antidote to lockdown blues.

You can check out Are We Still Good for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

To keep up with the artist’s new releases, head over to Evadaze Facebook page here

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

US Indie Pop artist Help Society has released their debut album “Gettin’ Low & Lettin’ Go”

From the first few sonically-charged synth notes in US-based artists Help Society’s latest single Better, we were hooked.

Better is just one of the immersive and connectable tracks from Help Society’s album Gettin’ Low & Lettin’ Go. Each Darkwave track tackles a different facet of grief. And each track has plenty of organic and sincere resolving energy poured into it.

Largely, grief goes unspoken about. People tend not to like broaching the subject, but Help Society definitely wasn’t shy about laying down warm and compassionate sentiments over the shimmering synth-carved soundscape in Better.

If any track has the power to unite the goths and the Indie kids, it’s Better. There’s a gritty dark allure under the high-vibe tones giving Better a full-rounded feel which mirrors the complexity of grief-stricken emotion. It’s a constant battle to feel fragments of euphoria when experiencing grief, Help Society will help you get there.

You can check out Better along with the rest of the album for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast