Happiness is…a new IAMX single! Nobody quite lays down the sinister synth beats like former Sneaker Pimps frontman Chris Corner. Happiness is…the fact that the b-side of the single is a remix of the title track by fellow dark synth purveyor Gary Numan.
Let’s just get right to it…High is an anthemic Electropop jam. Everything By Electricity rarely misses and High is no exception. The track teases with 10 seconds of pulsating synths before the bass beats kick in. At this point I am primed and ready, and Emi’s dreamy vocals bring it on home. Folks, we’ve got an early summer jam right here in the vein of Chromatics and Chvrches and I don’t drop those names lately.
It took me all of three notes to say ‘SWEET, a new OMD track’! But wait, then it kicked into gear and I heard a more modern Synth sound and I found myself saying please don’t be one of those tracks where the music is amazing and then the vocals come in and ruin it. Well, that’s not happening here! What a pleasant surprise coming across this lovely little synthpop nugget.
This mix is made up of rare 80’s songs acquired through a friend who worked at a record store in Europe in the early 80s. The majority of these songs never existed anywhere else but on vinyl. Each one of these songs could’ve carried a scene in any John Hughes film. A lot of these songs are now forgotten forever, besides the ones who lived the era.
Azure Blue plays slightly-twee synthy new wave which would appeal to fans of the Junica, Trembling Blue Stars, and Lightning Seeds. This song, “Every Ending Story”, is from this Swedish band’s new EP and is among my favorites by them. I could imagine hearing this ’80s-style tune being played over the closing credits of a…
Admittedly, we listen to a lot of Depeche Mode-sounding bands here at Chez Strangeways, and lucky for us this German band is among the Depeche-iest. SynthDecade has a few great songs, including this one, which reminds me a little of DM’s ʺWalking in My Shoes.ʺ This song has a very late ’80s/early ’90s DM feel, including the dark uptempo feel, the vocal effects, the chord changes, and the occasional unexpected bloops, bleeps, and twang that keep it all very interesting during repeated listening.
The song takes you back to the analog synthpop of the early/mid ’80s. Then you look at the associated picture of the band mates, and it fits perfectly, with an aqua-colored skinny tie and headband complementing their black shirts and serious looks on their faces. Great stuff. Parts of this Toronto band’s song really reminds me of Berlin’s ʺMasqueradeʺ. The synths twinkle, buzz, fade, and swell throughout the song with really nicely interwoven vocals during the final minute.
This is volume 3 in my modern synth series which features brand new synth tracks from up and coming artists along with some new releases from more established artists. All of these tracks are synth heavy and many are inspired from the new wave era in the 80s.
“Onto Something”, the dreamy opening synthpop track on Soviet’s new third album, would’ve been part of a perfect driving soundtrack in a convertible sports car on a summer night in the mid-1980s while watching the city lights reflect off the glass and steel of modern L.A.
This mix features brand new music from legendary 80s new wave artists. All of these songs have been released after 2010. Many of these songs are as good, if not better, then the artists original work from the 80’s. It’s great to see that these bands that we grew up with are still making relevant music today.