Monday, August 18, 2014

Top 5: Electronica/Synth Music

I’ve been on an electronica/synth kick lately. It’s best for blasting in the car at night on your way home. Here are my Top 5 picks this week:

1. Symphonia IX (My Wait Is U) – Grimes

I’ve been loving Grimes all summer. I discovered her on my own in 2012, but never truly listened to her until this year. Her voice can take some getting used to at first, but the beauty of her music lies within the way she blends her vocals, lyrics and beats together. She’s a modern impressionist of music – her music evokes an immediate feeling, and is fairly undefined upon a first listening, but undeniably mysterious and gorgeous.

2. Behind The Wheel – Depeche Mode

A classic ‘80s new wave anthem, “Behind The Wheel” is addictive, catchy and existential. What I get out of this song is a sense of wishing you could take the backseat in your own life, but knowing that it’s rather hard to do that most of the time. With lyrics like, “There are times when I feel/I'd rather not be/The one behind the wheel,” and “I prefer you behind the wheel/And me the passenger,” I think my reading is fair. Point is, we’ve all been there in our lives. Besides, I’d rather lose myself in this song’s long intro than think about all I have to do to prepare for move-in day in 2 weeks.

Side Note: The Beatmasters mix of the same song is featured in this clip for White Bird In A Blizzard, out this September starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green.

3. Say My Name – Holy Ghost!

I know next to nothing about this band except that I’m supposed to be seeing them Thursday night. This is the only song on my iPod by them, but it’s still awesome and catchy in a new wave way. Maybe they’re part of a new new wave? Either way, Holy Ghost! is definitely worth a listen if you love modern throwback music. They fit in with new wave music without ripping it off.

4. Back In The Tall Grass – Future Islands

I love this band to death. The lead singer Sam Herring is a dynamic performer. The lyrics of this song are poetic, and the images of woods, salmon and heat make it the perfect song to blast on the way to a spontaneous end-of-summer camping trip. For me, its quick, sharp intro also captures that adrenaline rush you get when you’re trying to fit in all the things you wanted to do with your summer a week before it ends.

Side Note: Future Islands’ label, 4AD, has also signed Grimes and tons of great synth bands in the past, like Modern English and the Cocteau Twins.

5. Your Silent Face – New Order

Forever a new wave classic, “Your Silent Face” is essential to any synth playlist. Its title makes me sad, but also makes me think. It’s so vague, and the music itself doesn’t feel like it has a positive or negative connotation to it. It’s an anthem for those in transit, or don’t know how they’re feeling. Overall, New Order lets you decide how to emote – they just compose the score as you figure it all out.

[All videos are courtesy of Youtube.]

Which electronica and synth bands and artists are in your Top 5 this week? Comment below!

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