Synthwave listening to an up and coming genre

Conal Duffy, Courier Staff

If you are looking to discover new music and you like 80’s music, there is an entire new world of sound awaiting you.

Synthwave is 1980’s electronic music made nowadays, or at least it started out that way. In the last 10 years, the genre has become more than that. If you’ve seen the movie “Drive” with Ryan Gosling, all the songs in that movie’s soundtrack were synthwave. Or if you like the music from “Stranger Things,” this music is for you. In this article, I’ll highlight two influential artists that have new singles out, and perhaps you’ll give it a listen.From Los Angeles comes the amazing duo The Midnight. They have released a new remix of “Clean Eyes” by Seattle-based artist SYML. The remix turns his acoustic singer-songwriter track into an 80s synthwave dance hit. People who like indie music would also appreciate the vocals.

The Midnight’s music is inspired by a lot of other music like Phil Collins, the “Terminator” theme and Tangerine Dream. I feel like I’m walking through a coming-of-age film when I listen to their music. They have four albums out right now: “Days of Thunder,” “Endless Summer,” “Nocturnal” and “Kids,” which are all phenomenal and all have different themes.

Another group, FM-84, from San Francisco, released their new single “Bend and Break,” which feels like a drive along the California coast while the summer sun is setting. The singer is a guy named Ollie Wride, and he puts his heart and soul into the vocals on this track. He was featured on FM-84’s number one hit, “Running in the Night” and recently decided to join the band altogether. FM-84 has one album out called “Atlas,” which is my favorite album of synthwave.

There is so much attention to detail. The best track on there is “Goodbye” which feels like the credits are rolling after a great movie. Anyway, “Bend and Break” gives this genre a new standard. It’s no longer cheesy 80s electronic, it’s straight up 80s pop. I would say it’s so good that it compares to actual 80’s music. Instead of going back in time, why not bring the past to us.

You can find a lot of good synthwave on the YouTube Channel “NewRetroWave” which also has their own record label.

There are a lot of artists in this genre; some other notable ones are Mitch Murder, Com Truise (yes, that’s Tom Cruise with the first letters swapped), TimeCop1983, Gunship, Kalax, Lazerhawk, Dana Jean Phoenix (who sounds like Madonna), Michael Oakley, KRISTINE, Perturbator, Tokyo Rose and Betamaxx. All these artists have a different sound to them. Synthwave is not all the same. Some people say it doesn’t have soul, but I think it does.

The new singles from FM- 84 and The Midnight prove this, that it’s more than cheesy electronic music; it’s the 80s dream. It’s a summer long forgotten. It’s a night at the arcade with your friends. It’s a drive down the Miami coast in a Delorean car from Back to the Future.