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Looking for something a little darker? Hollywood Burns has quickly become one of my favorite darkwave artists, up there with Carpenter Brut. Fast, unrelenting, and best of call catchy songs that tear your throat out just before lodging themselves deeply into the “earworm” section of your brain. We all dig that throw back sound that reminds us of the 80s, but Hollywood Burns does a wonderful job of incorporating the sounds of the 50s, that classic warbly Theremin sound that screams “bodysnatchers”, into his music. Truly great stuff. I hope you enjoy it too.
Hello Meteor – At Night
If you know me at all, you know I’m a huge Hello Meteor fan. He has this magic ability to make songs that sound uniquely original, yet they all feature a truly distinct sound that is “Hello Meteor.” It’s like he makes one hundred pies, all using the same ingredients, but each one tastes different, and every one is your new favorite. Did that just get weird? Sorry about that. Music is cool, amiright? But really, Hello Meteor is like a warm blanket in music form. Any time I’m not sure what to put on, I put on Hello Meteor, and I never regret it. Go blast this and chill out harder than you ever have before.
The Ghost Mall – Shattered Mirrors
Shattered Mirrors is a flawless theme for an early 80’s Italian slasher movie that was never made. It has that perfect combination of creepy sadness and melancholy sweetness. It is so pitch perfect it makes me seethe with envy. I don’t really know what else to say about it. It’s just SO GOOD.
Time to slow it down…
This is a fantastic, slow, mood setting piece. Saxophone dripping with reverb, wandering bass line…You can almost see the two of them sitting up on a roof looking over the sad city. If this song isn’t worthy of being on the Bladerunner soundtrack, I don’t know what is.
Bart Graft – Debbie
Bart Graft is a prolific, talented dude. I’ve always liked him because his stuff tends to remind me of Harold Faltermeyer, who is one of my favorites. Debbie has that squeaky clean sound, like Mitch Murder, with a wonderful, mechanical feeling to it. You could totally see this playing during the “We’re doing science!” montage while the nerds hatch their plan to get back their frat house from the jocks. And by the time you’ve heard this, he’s probably released 5 more songs that top it, so go check him out!
Computronic – Wishing Towards You
OK, I will admit my bias here: I am a friend of Computronic’s. I get to see almost every one of his songs from the very beginning, up to the final product. Every time he sends me something, I kinda wonder what he’s going to do with what he has. By the time he’s finished, I often wonder how it’s even the same song. His concept of writing a whole movie just for his soundtrack is not the most original thing in this scene, but his execution is beyond anything I’ve seen. I mean, writing dialog and hiring actors? Throw in a video camera and you have a real movie!
Brandon is a fairly new name on the scene, but man has he put his best foot forward. His name may be an SEO nightmare, but Neon Haze came out of nowhere and it shows a level of songwriting and production that leads me to believe he’s been doing this behind the scenes for years. I picked Arcade because it’s got that super awesome intro, and that chorus is just stellar, but the whole EP is great.
LeBrock – One Night
LeBrock has an advantage that most synthwave producers don’t. A KILLER vocalist. These guys have the sound down perfectly. And luckily for us all, they have the songwriting skills to back up that voice. One Night could easily fit your favorite 80s film, when the protagonist is struggling to win the girl’s heart. They even have some great screaming guitar in there, which I’m always a sucker for.
FourFox – Mayday
This is a great, high energy track that earns it’s name. Tense but exciting, and it keeps your head bobbing the whole way through it. FourFox obviously has a handle on his production, because the sound design is really great, without getting in the way of the song.
TCR has always been one to color outside the lines. His music is pretty hard to describe, so I’m not going to try. That said, when I listen to this track, I just think “this is so COOL.” And not like, “I wear my sunglasses at night” cool, like “a kid at space camp looking at a space shuttle” cool. Without being meandering or directionless, you have no idea where this is going to go next, but you’re excited to find out.
Mono Memory – Corvette Cadet
Mono Memory is a fairly fresh face on the scene, and he’s starting out strong. Corvette Cadet is a wonderful, peppy track that gets your head bobbing while still tweaking that lovely nostalgia nerve-ending we all love so much. Simple execution of a cheerful melody.
IndiGhost – Simpler Times
The titular track on his first full length album, Simpler Times is a great display of Indighost’s talents. A lot of his earlier stuff is VERY poppy. Think early Whitney Houston. And this album is quite a journey, with some very dark tracks, some more epic like this one here, and some much poppier. Whatever feeling he’s going for, it nails it. If this song doesn’t grab you right away, don’t give up. If you MUST, skip to 1:33 for the mind blowing chorus.