Welcome to a new post series, where I recommend (or a guest recommends) 3 music releases I am (or they are) currently listening to! Whenever possible, I’ll include a bandcamp link (so you can both listen and, if you so choose, support the artists). If not, I’ll grab one from Spotify. Here’s what’s on my tape player right now:
Makeup and Vanity Set, Wilderness
This is an album I keep going back to. It’s dark and brooding, but avoids the cliches of dark synth. The album is both retrofuturistic and deeply emotional, exploring themes of death, loss and renewal. “Hand in Hand,” a collaboration with Jasmin Kaset, is probably my all-time favorite vocal synthwave track. But the whole thing is just gorgeous.
Computronic, Even the Score
Computronic is a mastering client of mine, and I had a blast working on this album. It’s synthwave by way of Vince Clarke-era Depeche Mode. The vocal tracks are all standouts, and feature four equally excellent yet distinct vocalists: Vicky Harrison, Becca Star Bird, Vandal Moon and Historiaster. It’s also a concept album, the soundtrack to a film that’s one part John Hughes and another part Ready Player One. An outstanding debut.
Syntax, The Space Tapes
Syntax has been one of my favorite synth artists for a while now. I love the late-70s science fiction aesthetic he’s cultivated, both in his music and the artwork he commissions, which makes his albums stand out in a scene that can sometimes tend towards conformity. The Space Tapes, like all his music, reminds me of how it feels to look up at the stars and imagine what’s out there.