‘Atom Child’ is the latest seismic shift in synth-rock from the prodigies of sonic futurism, who banded together to forge Confusion Field. If you ever wondered what Sisters of Mercy would sound like if they assembled lightyears in the future, hit play and wonder no more as you experience the quintessence of the Finnish progressive rock outfit, which was formed in 2017 by the seasoned musician and composer, Tomi Kankainen.
After embarking on a solo path following decades of playing bass and exploring various genres in local bands, Kankainen’s project blossomed into Confusion Field. The band’s debut, “Disconnection Complete,” emerged in 2021, which delved into the shadowy realms of depression.
Their upcoming second album, “Future Impact of Past Diversions,” which will be hot on the heels of Atom Child, promises a rich tapestry of musical escapism. I don’t know about you, but I’ll jump in any vessel I can take away from our blighted and imbittered social tapestry; their presentation of a progressively interstellar synth and guitar-driven rock opera is the perfect ticket.
Confusion Field’s dynamic fusion of progressive, pop, and metal influences, which harmonises the old with the new and the bright with the heavy, all underscored by a distinctive touch of Nordic melancholy will undoubtedly resonate with a broad spectrum of salvation-seeking alternatively inclined music fans. For your own sake, hit play.
Atom Child was officially released on October 6; stream it on YouTube.
Omni Optometrist’s (AKA Mitch Protheroe) jazzy synth-driven prog-rock-driven soundscapes won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for the antidote to sonic monotony, look no further than his latest Avant Garde orchestration, Converging Forces.
Between the frenetic time signatures which the scintillating symphonic tones weave through, there’s just enough room for star-roving constellations of trip-hop to add to the superlative almost dystopic in nature instrumental score, which adds a touch of interstellar ambience to the release.
Along with Omni Optometrist, Mitch Protheroe’s creativity has known many guises; he started composing under the name Of Keys and Cages in 2008, since then, he has released several jazz fusion records and has only become more ambitious with each subsequent release. After honing his production skills, he’s reworking his old demos and slowly but surely started introducing them to the airwaves from his studio in Florida. If Converging Forces set the standard, we can’t wait to hear what follows.
Converging Forces is now available to stream on Spotify.
The classically trained pianist, electronic music producer and composer, Fabian Jeller used every modicum of his training and talent honing to mark his evolution towards a more viscerally stylistic, organic, and colourful tonal palette in his most seminal single to date, From Zero to Infinity.
The synthesis of classical instruments in the electronic soundscape embodies the vivaciousness of a full symphony orchestra to take you on a journey of vibrant transcendence via the arrangement of the synths and strings, which work in absolute synergy to ensure you sonically arrive at the destination the Italian virtuoso intended.
Blissful, rejuvenating, and deeply evocative in inexplicable equal measure, From Zero to Infinity captures the momentum of life, and all the stratospherically colossal twists and turns it leaves us with no option to traverse. As Bill Hicks once famously said, it’s just a ride. Jeller proved the intrinsic beauty in that ride. Strap yourselves in and surrender yourself to it.
From Zero to Infinity arrived on the airwaves on September 16; stream it on SoundCloud.
With touches of House of Fun by the Madness grooving through the polyphonic funk of the jazz & chiptune amalgam, the UK-based artist Samuel Weaver concocted a superfluously ingenuity-driven score for the standout single in his debut album, Telechora!
Hitting play on Saviour Complex may be moderately akin to an acid trip due to the artist’s tendency to delve into sonic novelty despite his discernible composition and instrumental talents, but the euphoria-instilled vibrancy of the soundscape will lift you higher than any tab of acid ever could.
Given that intellectualism oozes from every progression, especially when the dissonance of sufferers with saviour complexes starts to manifest in the funk, at 17 years old, the composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist has the music industry at his prodigal feet.
Saviour Complex charged in on its white knight syndrome on August 19th; hear it on Spotify.
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.
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.
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.
The endlessly accoladed American composer, conductor and music educator Curtis Melton dusted off his analogue synths to orchestrate the ultimate instrumental soundtrack to synth yourself to sleep.
Firefly Lullaby is a definitively 80s ambient score with majestic overtones that invite you into a scintillating fantasia of pop and romanticism-soaked synthwave; insomnia doesn’t stand a chance against the glistening motifs and crescendos that are endlessly efficacious in their ability to allow your subconscious to take the lead.
His sonic scores are achievements standing alone. In addition to them, in 2015, he was nominated for “Best Original Score” at the Idyllwild International Film Festival, in the same year, he won “Best Original Song” at the Las Vegas 48 Hour Film Festival. He was named a finalist in the Ravel Association International Soundtrack Competition in Italy in 2016, and was named a semi-finalist in The American Prize Composer Competition in 2018 for his original works “The Genesis Effect” and “Forever Through The Fire”.
Firefly Lullaby hit the airwaves on May 1; hear it on YouTube.
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.
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.