Synthwave: A Musical Back To The Future
As a homage to halcyon days which were all about dreaming with a brighter, utopic future, synthwave is more than music, is a space-time journey.
One of my favourite music genres since a time ago is, without a doubt, the synthwave. But for me, this is more than just a genre, it’s a journey to an idyllic time and place which I never witnessed, yet I long for. Yes, that’s the 80’s. That glorious epoch predominated by that unique and dream-like futuristic aesthetic, the synthesisers, and the iconic horror movies —yes, I’m talking about Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. No joke—.
If you’re not familiar with the term, synthwave is an electronic and synthetic music sub-genre mostly influenced by retro video games and film soundtracks, and it’s like a homage to halcyon days in which people like me would like to expend their eternity.
However, let’s stop talking about synthwave music and instead we’ll listen to some freaking good synthwave music. Here is a list of my five favourite synthwave bands and artists and also some of their best songs and music videos:
Gunship is an epic voyage to a place not too far away for although the lyrics may seem to talk about some Lovecraftian horror tale or a digital adventure inside a classic arcade video game, well, the truth is most of them explore the human condition. Yes, they teach us to be brave by exploring the darker corners of our minds and hearts. That killer style is what, in my opinion, characterises the Gunship’s music. Their lyrics are deep and reminiscent to the ‘80s music, yet their sound is fresh, and it’s usually accompanied by the delightful voice of Alex Westaway which has an incredible familiar sound.
And, if that was not enough, they have made a reputation for their innovative videos which include the collaboration with the director John Carpenter, YES! The director of They Live (1988) and Halloween (1978) itself!
02. THE MIDNIGHT
With a little bit more melancholic sound and some very touching lyrics, The Midnight has earned a place in my heart —yes, I have one of that—. There’s something I particularly like about this band and is the stories they tell in their songs for when you put attention to the lyrics and the ambient noises they put in them, you can imagine some horror or thriller movie from the ‘80s. Besides, their beats are very characteristic not to mention their unique saxophone sounds which will transport you to that picturesque time they depict in their album’s artworks.
03. COM TRUISE
If you prefer something more instrumental and without-the-distraction-of-lyrics music, I think Com Truise is for you. Seth Haley aka Com Truise is an electric musician whose stage name is a spoonerism of certain Hollywood actor who once joined a twisted sect both in a Stanley Kubrick’s film and IRL —he even has a song very reminiscent to the soundtrack of that movie—. Ejem. Ejem. Returning to the subject, Com Truise’s music is synthesiser-heavy and its sounds highly influenced by 1980s musical styles yet the retro beats are more subtle than the previous bands in this list. Do you know? I have an entire playlist mostly made up by his songs with I mainly use to make that trip, of course, I’m talking about my writing trips, what did you think? Let me give you a taste.
Directly from the Netherlands, Jordy 'TimeCop1983' Leenaerts gives his tripping music to the world both alone and in collaboration with other great bands and soloists like The Midnight and SEAWAVES. With lyrics with a more romantic tone, Timecop1983 has beautiful songs like “Static” and “Back to you” which you can’t help to dedicate in your mind to your beau or belle. His solo songs are mostly instrumental and are perfect for listening in your car when you travel to the beach. You can even imagine the palm trees on both sides of you just by listening to it.
If you’re looking for something quieter and with a divine, female voice on it, then FM-84 is for you. This duo is formed by the musician and producer Col Bennett and the singer/ songwriter Ollie Wride —yes, he’s a man, and his acute female-like voice is GLORIOUS and incredibly reminiscent to that powerful female voices from the ‘80s—. Their music is just a pleasure to listen when you need to relax by travelling to a simpler and calmer time. Songs like “Running In The Night” seem to have travelled in time for it’s a faithful translation of 1980s musical vibes.
This has been a great trip through my favourite music, and you really don’t know how much I’ve enjoyed to write this down to share it with you. I hope you’ll enjoy it likewise and please if you have some music recommendations for me, leave it in the comments below, I always love to discover new music.
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