Oh, thy sweet, sweet, synth music. How I crave thee monthly, and how Indie Discotheque giveth to thee, and how it is the ultimate music for thine ears. These are the sounds of dreams, of complete immersion.
Listen to past synth charts here.
1. Twinkids - Eighteen
This is a track that whisks you away to a return to innocence, trash-talking and making promises that are impossible to keep. There is a beauty that has been created Twinkids that I find difficult to describe, but the enveloping nature of the synth, the rise, the fall of emotion, and stunning pitch-bending solos are more than worthy of the top spot on this month’s chart.
2. The Midnight - Arcade Dreams (Timecop1983 Remix)
The collection of remixes that were released by The Midnight this month were a bit of a surprise because the majority of them fall into the progressive trance category, a genre that is a historical extension of synth-pop and new age influence. The collection also includes this beauty arranged by Timecop1983, an absolute gem that is worthy of the best sound systems, smoke machine, and atmospheric dancing.
3. Olivera - I Can’t Sleep
If there was a specific style of pop music I wish was a thing right now, it would be the synthpop being released by Olivera. The synth chords are stunning, the vocals and twinkling effects are playful, and it’s the style of pop arrangement that presents itself in a compact and friendly way for repeat listening.
4. Siamese Youth - Coco
The latest track from Siamese Youth brings us this month’s sing-along song, singing for the brokenhearted, filled with emotion and release. When you put your hand up in the air, gripping for the invisible object while singing about leaving it all behind, you’ll understand where I’m coming from on this.
5. Kalax - Vice
The basis of the track is rooted in trance, but the synth work is so beautiful, there isn’t anything you can do but fully embrace the experience you get when fully releasing yourself to the aural bliss that has been composed by Kalax. This is one of those tracks you have to stop for, experience, and let soak in.
6. Pet Shop Boys - Dreamland feat. Years & Years
I was not expecting new music from Pet Shop Boys this month, but this collaboration with Years & Years is a wonderful combination of the classic with the modern in the synthpop world. I would love to see more collaborations like these from other similar artists in the future.
7. Gemini Rising - Speed of Sound
One of my personal highlights of the month, the music of Gemini Rising has me on repeat listen status for the entire album. The synth work is nuanced and the songs are wonderfully composed, but it's her vocal performance that draws you in and keeps you salivating for more. I can’t get enough.
8. Morgan Willis - Rabbit Hole Chasing You feat. KEL
The introductory atmosphere of this track is like a warm sunrise across a calm lake, the surface so smooth it is as a giant mirror stretched in front of you. The beat kicks in and we start to sail, our face in the breeze, reaching out for that which we are chasing, what we wish to be a part of our experience.
9. Robert Parker - A Memory, a Feeling
A significant portion of synth music being released these days is the sound that reaches back, searching through our memories to revive the feelings we may have lost with regard to the sound. The latest from Robert Parker explores this concept, bringing us a composition that accomplishes this history well.
10. The New Division - Modus
I’m getting to a point in compiling these synth charts where I get to the latest from The New Division and think, should I include this project again? I include their music often. I’m such a fan of the way this music is composed and produced, always finding a way to reach in and find some feeling or emotional string to tug on. Of course, it’s on the list. Why wouldn’t it be?
11. Tronik Youth - Counternance (Alex Aguayo Remix)
Alex Aguayo has really done a fine job with this remix, utilizing simplistic synth patterns and isolating the vocal in a way that gives the track additional dimension. Have you ever wanted to learn how to count to four in German? This is the song for you, and you’ll feel compelled to dance along while you learn.
12. The Bad Dreamers - Georgetown
I wasn’t expecting lo-fi synth treatments from The Bad Dreamers, but the sound has been very prominent this year, and I love the way “Georgetown” shifts the beat into a mid-range gear, arranged to perfection in tandem with the vocal stylings we are used to with this project.
13. Bat for Lashes - So Good
My goodness, “So Good” is right, and how good it is to have new music from Bat for Lashes. She has released a new album worthy of enjoying start to finish. The synth arrangement in “So Good” is warm and cozy in a way, and vocally we’re emotionally drawn into the drama of hurt and mistreatment, yet being satisfied by it in one way or another.
14. Clock Opera - Be Somebody Else
This song (aside for being a long-time Clock Opera fan) joins the synth chart for its atmospheric textures throughout the track. An indie dance song at its core, the synth work is what stands forward, too great to ignore and treat as a simple backing element.
15. Klangkarussell - Comoros
Fit for a variety of dancefloors, the latest from Austria’s Klangkarussell takes me back to the heyday of projects like Shit Robot and experimental sides of Joe Goddard in the DFA era. The synth work in this track is just so bouncy and warm, it's hard to not crank this track up as loud as your speakers will allow.
Now enjoy the playlist in its entirety: