Synth Pop

Artist: 
Superorganism
Label: 
Domino Recording Co Ltd

Superorganism's self-titled album is a beautiful mixture of synth, chill beats, and fun vocals from the 17-year-old lead singer, Orono Noguchi. The album doesn't stray too far from the indie pyschedlic pop principles, making the album something easy to listen to. However, you most likely won't feel like you found a revolutionary band but that's okay! I think "Superorganism" can appeal to a lot of people because of its natural charm and typical sounds.

Sounds Like: 
Tame Impala - psychedelic pop, nonchalant vocals that you can find in a Tame Impala song
Sounds Like: 
MGMT - earlier albums and more indie pop than MGMT but still fun to listen to like MGMT
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
04/11/2018
Artist: 
Chrome Sparks
Label: 
Future Classic, Caroline Distribution

The beginning of this track begins high energy and sounds like the love child of soft 80's synth pop rock and the opening instrumentation of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy". The beat drops and Angelica Bess's vocals flood in, triggering an increase in tempo and a fresh inclusion of R&B vibes sonically; before an upbeat instrumental breakdown. The lyrics and brief, simple, and repetitive, but perfectly match the playfully melodic beat as well as Angelica's sweetly soulful voice.

Sounds Like: 
Angelica Bess
Sounds Like: 
XXYYXX
Name: 
Kiara Johnson
Date Reviewed: 
02/21/2018
Artist: 
Porches
Label: 
Domino Recording Co.

Porches, an American synth-pop band, followed up their well-received sophomore album Pool (2016), with their latest record The House. The House starts off with Leave This House, a groovy and relatively upbeat synth pop track. This however is not indicative of the project as a whole because the majority of tracks on this album are much slower and introspective. Songs like Country and Goodbye give a better feel for the album as a whole, an album that is extremely dreary, and introspective into the emotions following heartbreak.

Sounds Like: 
Frankie Cosmos
Sounds Like: 
Real Estate
Sounds Like: 
TV Girl
Sounds Like: 
Marika Hackman
Name: 
Michael Jepson
Date Reviewed: 
01/21/2018
Artist: 
Kllo
Label: 
Ghostly International

Chloe Kaul and Simon Lam, AKA Kllo, have come up with an album that is easy to listen to. Kaul's vocals are light and airy but are strong enough to send shivers down my spine. It sounds so effortless but it emits so much passion and feeling. Lam does an incredible job incorporating the instrumentals to give each track another element of depth. I would describe the tracks as quiet--that they require a close ear to truly appreciate and can be easily overlooked. However, when you do pay attention the music calms the heart but also evokes strong feelings of desire, loss and adventure.

Sounds Like: 
Years and Years
Sounds Like: 
Yumi Zouma
Name: 
Hibah Ilyas
Date Reviewed: 
11/20/2017
Artist: 
Stars
Label: 
Last Gang Records Inc.

This album is a banger. the Canadian bad, Stars stretch hushed electro-pop into scrambling electric rock, almost if it blends the Smiths’ guitar romance with bedroom vibel like the product of some some of Tame Imapala's work. "There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light" definitely finds the band with their feet on the streets and their heads scraping the sky, just where they should be. Campbell gets a requisite U2-style burner on “Alone,” and it’s pretty glorious.

Sounds Like: 
Of Monsters & Men
Sounds Like: 
Sugar Candy Mountain
Name: 
Miles Schuk Ehler
Date Reviewed: 
10/23/2017
Artist: 
Mac DeMarco
Label: 
Captured Tracks

Mac DeMarco is back at it again with This Old Dog, which was releaased on May 5, 2017. Mac stays dear and true to himself with every single track in this album. He has mixed his folky vibe with his usual heavy synth sound to create an all encompassing, feel-good album.

Sounds Like: 
HOMESHAKE
Sounds Like: 
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard
Name: 
Arielle Devorah
Date Reviewed: 
10/23/2017
Artist: 
Poppy
Label: 
Mad Decent

"Interweb", "Computer Boy", and "Let's Make A Video" are three of the synth-pop tracks off of Poppy's album "Poppy.Computer." With her high-pitch angelic voice and glittery pop vibes to match, Poppy is a living bubble gum pop, pastel blog. The themes of Poppy's songs are always based off of the connection our generation has to technology and how that can create artificial connections and happiness. All of the songs sound rather similar in terms of tone. The beats are all up-lifting with synths and house vibes.

Sounds Like: 
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU - Sweet girl voices with glittery pop synths (also similar aesthetics in music videos)
Sounds Like: 
Marina and the Diamonds - Pastel, pastel goth influences like "Electra Heart"
Name: 
Alli Gilbreath
Date Reviewed: 
10/10/2017
Artist: 
Ariel Pink
Label: 
Kemado Records Inc. d/b/a Mexican Summer

Dedicated to Bobby Jameson by Ariel Pink is an album of isolation. Bobby Jameson was an infamous musician dubbed the ‘next big thing’ after the Beatles came out. But, his first album received such bad criticism that Bobby was left with severe depression, and lived out the rest of his days with his mother in California. Ariel Pink’s album forms itself around this central theme. Many of the songs on the album, like Dedicated to Bobby Jameson, Another Weekend, and Feels Like Heaven speak directly to Bobby Jameson.

Sounds Like: 
Atlas Sound
Sounds Like: 
John Maus
Sounds Like: 
R. Stevie Moore
Name: 
Grace Penry
Date Reviewed: 
10/10/2017
Artist: 
Xiu Xiu
Label: 
Polyvinyl

Xiu Xiu has always straddled the line between noise and pop. They've covered Nick Cave, Rihanna, and "Under Pressure" with Michael Gira (Swans). They've collaborated with Merzbow, Deerhoof, Devendra Banhart, Dirty Beaches, Grouper, and more. They've done an album of Nina Simone covers and reinterpreted the Twin Peaks soundtrack. They've even composed songs with a Nintendo DS. If you're unfamiliar with their work, they basically do everything, they always make it sound like Xiu Xiu, and I find that admirable.

Sounds Like: 
Future Islands
Sounds Like: 
Deerhoof
Sounds Like: 
Prurient
Sounds Like: 
Dirty Beaches
Name: 
Andrew Boring.
Date Reviewed: 
02/24/2017
Artist: 
Justice
Label: 
Ed Banger Records

My first impression of JUSTICE’s music is 80’s synth pop. It has some edgier drums in it, but it’s got many synth elements, weaker vocals, and slow fade-outs similar to that of popular 80’s music. These radio ready singles are from Justice’s third studio album. “Randy” is reminiscent of “Don’t You Want Me”, the 1981 hit from The Human League. It’s got a very distinct throwback vibe, and I think it really nails that mark.

Sounds Like: 
The Human League
Name: 
Amanda Chesin
Date Reviewed: 
01/29/2017
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