This is the hottest summer I can remember, so in the spirit of that, Indie Discotheque brings you what just might be the hottest list of synth tracks we've brought to you to date. Jerry Folk? Check. St. Lucia? Check. The Golden Filter? Absolutely. We even have some Chrome Sparks and Four Tet remixes thrown in this list of amazing tunes. It's all the synth you've ever wanted and more, but don't fear, we'll bring you even more great tunes next month.
1. Jerry Folk - Another Night
It's another night, and the synth is high pitched and slow tempo. We're grooving to a fine beat with some whirrs and wails and a beautiful upper range vocal treatment. These chords are satisfying. I enjoy the minimalistic nature of the percussion. Upper register synth with pitch bending is awesome.
2. St. Lucia - A Brighter Love
This love is bright, but is there a brighter love? Bass stabs greet us with some down-pitched "oohs." I always love how smooth the vocals are in St. Lucia songs. "Searching for a night light in the dark" is a great lyric. Falling asleep on empty streets are always eye-opening experiences. Has that brighter love been found?
3. Niterunner - Stay Tonight
This is a synth ballad with a vocal style that is reminiscent of that slurred Lana Del Rey style that so many vocalists are using these days. Nightrunner takes this and runs with it, placing a beautiful bed of chords and simple, light arpeggiations across the song. The whispering upper register synth in the background is a great touch, and the guitar solo polishes the song wonderfully.
4. Emil Rottmayer - Open
The song introduces us with a very playful, echoing synth and a simple drum pattern. It is produced extremely well in stereo. Once the bass kicks in, you'll put your hands behind your head and say, "oh, yes!" This is downtempo and instrumental, but very satisfying in how rich the sound is, perfect driving music on for cool summer night.
5. The Golden Filter - Talk Talk Talk
Don't be off-put by the high pitched string plucking and the old school clap track. These are the treatments that make this song as fantastic as it is, aside from the emotional vocal performance that is filtered to a golden quality. Minimalism is the key here, and "Talk Talk Talk" achieves it. The synth chords and bass stab across the track set the mood perfectly.
6. Daniel Avery - Quick Eternity (Four Tet Remix)
Four Tet for me is a producer that gives me satisfaction in a way similar to a jazz ensemble. He always employ a percussion pattern that gives a real humanistic quality. Overlaid with the synth work on this track, repetitive note patterns and glowing chords keep you in a dream state for the entire nine-plus minutes.
7. STRFKR - Open Your Eyes (Chrome Sparks Remix)
This song is vastly improved with Chrome Sparks treatment, and that's saying something because STRFKR's original version is amazing in its own right. The synth is inspiring, providing a warmth that isn't found by many other producers. At times it brings me to reminisce about the work of Underworld, and I find that fulfilling.
8. Robert Parker - Silent Kiss
Yeah, it's simple arpeggiations and a drumbeat for much of it, but I can't think of too many times or places where I don't want that. The melodic synth work that overlays the arpeggiation keeps my interest. The vocal treatment has a bit too much echo for my tastes but it works. This is midnight floor filler at the modern Italo disco at its finest.
9. Olivver the Kid - Overreacting
I might be overreacting on my own part but I love this song for the lyrical, melodic portions of the song. The verses are amazing, so melodic. The chorus, on the other hand, is so monotone. I'm looking for more harmony in the instrumental to off-balance my missing melody, and I'd love to hear an alternate version that addresses this.
10. Molyneaux - Closer
This is a throwback party anthem for all you ladies and gentlemen who want to get closer and get higher. Molyneaux has recaptured this style of synth music perfectly, and don't get me wrong here, because it's the classic feel that has attracted me, but now that he has mastered it, I'd like to hear it modernized with today's technology.
11. Jessie Frye - Faded Memory feat. Timecop1983
I love, love, love Jessie Frye's voice, and to hear her sing with this synth work from Timecop1983 is like a dream come true. This is true, turn it up and put your hands out music right here, and you're going to be singing "I want you" with body convulsions right along with her. Dark rooms, disco lights, movie stars, crowded bars, strangers kisses, this song has everything you've ever fantasized about in one song.
12. Northern Lights - Malibu feat. Danny Martin
This song checks the boxes. It has synth stabs, great chord work, an emotional vocal performance from Danny Martin, and a topic of love in a tropical place. The guitar solo at the midpoint is satisfactory. I like the song, so why do I feel like I'm driving a Chevrolet mid-sized sedan down the Pacific Coast Highway instead of a Tesla Roadster? That I can't explain.
13. Antenna & Tasma - Astra
This is an Eskimo Recording release that I'm really excited about. Astra is a song of minimalism, simple synth melodies, and a beautiful swirl of upper register echoes behind repetitive progressions. This is nearly seven minutes of flying through the sky, and its worth every second of it.
14. Information Society - Nothing Prevails
A new Information Society single is out, and honestly, it's great! Released on Tommy Boy, this is the first single from their first album since 2016's Orders of Magnitude. Wait a sec, they've released music since "Pure Energy," you ask? Absolutely. The synthpop legends took a break through most of the aughts but they've been back at it for a number of years now.
15. Croatia - Half Dreams
No relation to the squad that hails the same country in its name, this is a melodic synth masterpiece about superstition revolving around past relationships and using vices to get over a laundry list of lovers. But do what you do, even when you find yourself alone in the middle of town. Will you find your way out, or just keep latching on?