The Radio Dept – Occupied

From the moment you hear the syncopated beats you are thinking some kind of 80’s dance jam ala Blue Monday or Bizarre Love Triangle is on the way. Not exactly, as the song settles in to a more chilled groove with slightly disaffected vocals – but that is kind of the charm of The Radio Dept. As the song continues, the bouncy synths invoke Royksopp and Technique-era New Order.

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Everything By Electricity – High

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.

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Azure Blue – Every Ending Story

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…

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SynthDecade – Lighten Up The Darkness

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.

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