The '80s are back in a big way. Synthwave, also known as retrowave, outrun, or futuresynth, is a genre of electronic music influenced by the early 1980s' synthesizer-based music. It's often associated with a nostalgic aesthetic, and its popularity has been on the rise in recent years. So, who are the most popular synthwave bands and musicians nowadays? Here's a look at some of the scene's biggest names.
Perturbator is one of the most well-known and respected names in the synthwave scene. The French musician, real name James Kent, has been making music since 2012, and in that time he's released four albums and a slew of EPs and singles. His music is dark, atmospheric, and often cinematic, with a heavy focus on synthesizers and drum machines. He's also well-known for his stunning visual art, which often accompanies his releases.
Kavinsky is another French musician who's been making waves in the synthwave scene. Real name Vincent Belorgey, Kavinsky first came to prominence with his 2006 single "Nightcall", which was used in the opening credits of the film Drive. He's since released two albums, 2010's OutRun and 2013's ProtoVision, and has collaborated with the likes of The Weeknd, Daft Punk, and Justice. His music is often compared to that of Perturbator, and like Perturbator, his visual aesthetic is heavily influenced by '80s pop culture.
Carpenter Brut is the pseudonym of French musician Franck Hueso. He's been making music under the Carpenter Brut name since 2015, and in that time he's released two EPs and a full-length album, 2016's Trilogy. His music is high-energy and often aggressive, with a heavy metal influence. He's also well-known for his visually striking live shows, which often feature pyrotechnics and other special effects.
Dance with the Dead
Dance with the Dead is a synthwave duo from the United States consisting of Justin Pointer and Tony Kim. The duo has been making music together since 2012, and in that time they've released three albums and a handful of EPs and singles. Their music is often dark and atmospheric, with a heavy focus on synthesizers and drum machines. They're also well-known for their visually striking artwork, which often features skulls and other macabre imagery.
FM-84 is a synthwave duo from the United Kingdom consisting of Ollie Wride and Anthony Collura. The duo has been making music together since 2014, and in that time they've released two albums and a handful of singles. Their music is often upbeat and positive, with a strong '80s influence. They're also well-known for their use of vintage synthesizers, which often gives their music a nostalgic feel.
The Midnight is a synthwave duo from the United States consisting of Tyler Lyle and Tim McEwan. The duo has been making music together since 2014, and in that time they've released two albums and a handful of singles. Their music is often atmospheric and dreamlike, with a strong focus on synthesizers and drum machines. They're also well-known for their visually striking artwork, which often features neon lights and other '80s-inspired imagery. These are just a few of the most popular synthwave bands and musicians nowadays. With the genre's popularity on the rise, there's sure to be many more names added to this list in the years to come.