Browsing Tag

Synthpop

Dream Optimist sugared sonic soul before pouring it into their spacey synthpop single,  Think Gently of Yourself

Silence the maleficence of your inner critic with the latest interstellar indie space pop escapade, Think Gently of Yourself, from Dream Optimist. If Do You Realize by The Flaming Lips never fails to pull at your heartstrings and stir your soul with unabashed positivity, the same viscerally sweet reaction awaits when you hit play on the seminal single from Dream Optimist’s 15-track LP, Seven Day Love Challenge.

Atop the twinkling Grandaddy-esque keys and around the chamber strings, the questioning and pervasive with doubt lyricism leads you on an affirming odyssey of a journey through the cosmos, with the consolingly compassionate vocals acting as a star-roving guide.

The Oakland, CA-residing songwriter and composer, frequently voyages between synthpop, bedroom pop, chamber pop and a myriad of other genres when penning his hits for his ‘low head count collective’. Before breaking into song crafting for the airwaves, the collective’s head honcho, David Marc Siegel, honed his talents in art-punk outfits and as a composer for ad music, theatre music, musical theatre, and short films, which goes a fair way in explaining how he settled on his cinematically spirited sound that will take you as high as the transcendent register on the vocal harmonies.

Stream Think Gently of Yourself by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The sonic raconteur of space-age tales Robert Ramirez held a mirror to our future with his single, Migrate

With a music video more compellingly dystopic than the latest season of Black Mirror, the standout single, Migrate, from Robert Ramirez’s debut LP, is one small step for synthwave and one giant leap for synthkind.

As the polyphonically playful synths hammer down in a scintillatingly ethereal atmosphere, the Migrate lyrics and music video tell the tale of an android venturing to an underground lab where human emotions are extracted and sold. Given the rapid rates of technological progression and the rising levels of ennui, the concept that brought Migrate viscerally to life under Ramirez’s deft touch as a composer and sonic raconteur of space-age tales won’t be farfetched for long.

Boldly going further back than most synthpop artists dare to roam, Ramirez also dabbled in late 70s-esque synthetics reminiscent of Thomas Dolby, Telex and Yellow Magic Orchestra.

The official music video for Migrate Premiered on July 13th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sandor Gavin borrowed from 80s synthpop pioneers in his captivatingly lush synthwave single, Ghost of a Memory ft Weldon

For his latest single, Ghost of a Memory, the Synthwave sensation, Sandor Gavin, borrowed the mesmeric vocal timbre of the featuring artist, Weldon, to leave the airwaves awash with nostalgia, emotion, and captivatingly lush melodies.

There is a strange assumption amongst artists and producers that when summer hits everyone is drunk on love and desperate to hear anthems which capture the euphoria of lust. Thankfully, Sandor Gavin injected realism into his latest synthwave crusade to help his audience through the minefield of lost love and shattered dreams.

The relatability of his crushed romanticism does so much more than just scratch at the surface of superficiality. Everything within Ghost of a Memory runs deep, from the basslines to the ennui to the reverberant hums emanating from the vocals, ensuring that the bitter-sweet release hits all the right marks.

Ghost of a Memory hit the airwaves on June 16; stream it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Passing Me By: Dutch Experts wonders why a heart couldn’t understand better on Bound by This

With a classic sounding aura as so many listen closely inside by the cosy campfire, Dutch Experts flame up our emotions and bring us a majestically honest release caressed inside a bow of sounds you just have to hear called Bound by This.

Dutch Experts is a Hannah Hoffman-created indie pop dark synthpop band who are from the beautiful hills of Vermont and create music many will get lost within.

Faced with long-Covid symptoms and the crumbling of societal infrastructure, singer/songwriter Hannah Hoffman turned one of her lowest and most challenging points into a revisitation of her approach to sound. Experimenting with layering synths and electronic drum beats in Garageband, Hoffman created a sonic landscape that bore the fruits of Dutch Experts.” ~ Hannah Hoffman

Formerly of Dune Hunter, Hannah Hoffman leads Dutch Experts to project a deep feeling in such a wonderfully relatable manner on Bound by This and this is a must-listen for still-healing humankind. Toned with a feel to the best possible version of the past and sounding refreshed at the same time, this is a rather extraordinary effort.

Written during the middle of the Covid Pandemic lockdown, lyrics imbued with a sense of somber self-reflection contrasted by glittering synthesizers and danceable drum beats. “Bound by This” is a ‘journey through the darkness to find the light.” ~ Hannah Hoffman

Bound by This from the Vermont-born indie pop dark synthpop act Dutch Experts is possibly one of the most cinematic soundscapes possible in our lifetime. This is an ear-filling track which will take all minds into a rather illuminating space that shall shake all cores into a much better place.

When you know when to break free, the next step will present itself.

Hear this new single on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

The Last Clouds epitaphed society in their debut LP, Illuminism

The Last Clouds

After a string of emotionally wrenching singles, The Last Clouds’ first album, Illuminism, has finally arrived. Bringing with it proclamative liberation from the idea that alienation makes you an outlier in 2023.

Short of being prescribed a trip to the seaside with a bottle of laudanum. I couldn’t think of a better way to find sanctity as our era is epitomised by the descent of truth, meaning, refuge, and connection.

With poetically forlorn lyrics that push the chill of modernity through light and dark malleable elements to reflect our increasingly arduous associations with our disunited society, the LP kicks off to a phenomenal start with track 1, Becoming.

Track 2, Origin, is instrumentally reminiscent of the latest LP offering from Editors. While Matt Schott endeavours with his harbingering vocal lines that effortlessly gel with the turbulently distorted bass around the scintillatingly futuristic synths.

Track 3, Empty Room, starts with a cinematically cavernous ambience to set a tone of Lynchian isolation before the interstellar lyricism drifts across the detachment-reflective instrumentals that are pushed far enough back in the mix to conceptualise the titular allusion.

Track 4, Earth’s Light, starts with an arcane neo-classic electronica score before bursting into a fervid outpour of future pop; the ardent backbeat rails through the reverb as the vocals and lyrics run through in a similar visceral vain to Nova by VNV Nation.

In the same way War of the Worlds is an apocalyptic narration of the end of the world, track 5, Turnpike, chronicles the uncertainty that perturbs even the most resilient minds as we anticipate the future after the everyday disasters we have numbed ourselves to through over-exposure.

Track 6, Another Way to Fall, is a ruminative masterpiece. Rich with romanticism and abjection in equal measure. Definitively proving that few things are true in this world without bitter-sweet duality.

The previously released single, Damage, is by far one of the most poetic accounts of the repercussions of living in a post-truth era I will probably ever hear. The Covenant-ESQUE synths give way to an exposition of how far the mainstream media is willing to let us sink under divisive propaganda.

The concluding single, Fog of Lies, is another sonically disassociated depiction of where we collectively lie in a society that is as glitchy as the artfully jarring orchestration. It’s the perfect continuation from Damage, which will undoubtedly be the most poignant aural memento of how we came to disaffectedly be.

Considering that protests are now effectively banned, this is as close was we are going to get to objection. The fear-encompassing LP is a boldly vulnerable dissent against the forces that are working together in perfect design to welcome us to our worse than Orwellian future. For your own sake, get your resonance fill from it.

Illuminism will officially release on January 20th. Hear it on all major platforms via this link.

Follow The Last Clouds on Facebook.

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

Ivar Kangur – Crossing Oceans: an 80s soundtrack to synaesthesia

In one of the most cinematic synthpop scores you could ever hope to immerse yourself within, Crossing Oceans, taken from Ivan Kangur’s 2022 album, Anno Domini, is an 80s soundtrack to synaesthesia.

After taking up classical piano at the age of 14 at the Royal Conservatory of music and working his way through his grades, he discovered his passion for composition, which ultimately saw him joining a new wave band in the 80s and film scoring. His third album, Anno Domini, is a continuation of his love of pop and sonic cinematics; from the first hammer of the analog synth, Crossing Oceans, keeps true to its titular nomination; the strident progressions break borders in the universality of their appeal. Delve right in; the water is lovely.

Crossing Oceans is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

AURASHADE has made his emotionally enveloping indie synthpop debut with the single Circles

AURASHADE is the new project of singer-songwriter Timothy Hoad, who has recently moved away from his acoustic roots to embrace a more synthesised sound with grittier electric guitar tones. His debut single, Circles, more than reflects his 20 years of experience as a songwriter. You just can’t help but succumb to the evocative power as AURASHADE forces you to question your relationship with your autonomy through clever vocal effect layering over the synthy heartbeat of the single.

Clearly, on the basis of the compassionately deep lyricism, the up-and-coming artist is leading by example in terms of self-awareness. Rarely does electronica so full of soul and substance surface on the airwaves. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

AURASHADE’s debut single is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Revel in the lovesick euphoria in Analog Beach’s synthpop-meets-indie-rock single, See You Tonight

80s synthpop grooves against angular indie-rock in the NJ-based up-and-coming duo, Analog Beach’s latest convergence of the past and future, See You Tonight. The vocal lines in the chorus easily become the sharpest of hooks, and that’s before you even get to the instrumentals that put white-hot guitar solos against colourful retro synths.

Fans of The Midnight, Wolf Club, and FM-84 will easily make a playlist staple out of this sweet affectionate hit, which doesn’t sugar coat affection. Instead, Analog Beach thrives while narrating just how emotionally crippling infatuation can be. Not all artists succeed in combining reality and romanticism, yet notably, Analog beach is anything but your average artist experimenting with tones and coming up with catchy lyrics. There’s substance by the smorgasbord in this euphorically bright hit that is sure to see the duo go far in 2022 and beyond.

The radio edit of See You Tonight is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Berlin’s Close to Monday impresses yet again with the incredible new single, ‘Together’

After a huge breakthrough year where they entered multiple charts and gained the traction they were looking for, Close to Monday show us their fresh direction and start off 2022 with a hypo-progressive synthpop style with their new single, ‘Together‘.

Close to Monday is a highly entertaining Berlin, Germany-based electro-synthpop duo who formulate a riveting blend of stunning music that warms the heart.

2021 was a very productive and bright year for “Close to Monday”. Their album “Interference” almost immediately entered the TOP10 of the German Alternative Charts and was there for 8 weeks in a row.” ~ Close to Monday

With a super effort that might be one of their finest releases to date, Close to Monday gravitate towards the top and show us into a world that has you in an honest state as you reflect on what you really need from your partner during this wild journey called life.

Together‘ from Berlin, Germany-based electro-synthpop duo Close to Monday, is the superbly-projected single of waiting for that special person to join you – and hoping that you can keep things simple – while holding hands and looking into the sky as one. With an always-evolving beat that makes you appreciate their progression, this is a scintillating single which bound to be put on loud when you let it simmer sweetly into your hungry soul.

Being together with someone who is ready to elevate you, will certainly have you feeling that this life is all worth it.

Listen to this new single on Spotify and see more via the IG music page.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen