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.

Details

Analog – Melodies From Memory

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.

Details

In Letter Form – Reflecting The Rain

Set the wayback machine to the UK in the mid-’80s, and get ready to sway to an excellent dark melodic pop song reminiscent of Modern English, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Joy Division (plus some of the newer purveyors of this sound like the Graveyard Club). The melancholy of Eric Miranda’s deep vocals and his lyrics about tears reflecting the rain are offset by the intricately layered upbeat synth-tinged, bass-driven alt pop-rock.

Details

Dreams Divide – Filth

Sometimes it all just comes together. In this case, the interplay of outstanding vocals, dark lyrics complementing bright twinkling synths, glossy production and all make this a fantastic synthpop song worthy of ’90s-era Depeche Mode. Other ’90s synthpop bands that this reminds me of include Echoing Green, Brave New World, and Neuropa. In particular, the chorus just soars you into the stratosphere.

Details