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The 80s have made a comeback. Popular culture is now saturated with Def Leppard t-shirts, high top shoes, skinny jeans and "Stranger Things".

If the 80s had a soundtrack, it would be a Synthwave album.

Synthwave is a genre of music driven by keyboard synthesizers (synths), electronic drum beats, and more synths. The music will often feature saxophone, electric guitar and vocals. Instrumental songs are just as common as those with vocals. Adjectives to describe the music include dreamy, cinematic, and romantic.

Album covers predominantly feature neon, purple, chrome, and cyberpunk themes. They ooze an "80s" vibe.

To start with Synthwave I suggest listening to Timecop1983. Specifically the first two songs from his album Night Drive:

The first song, "Static" features another Synthwave artist The Midnight. As an aside, many Synthwave artists collaborate and feature one another on their albums. They utilize the borderless internet to exchange audio files and form collaborations even though they may live hundreds of miles apart. 

The intro in "Static" gives a classic 80s/Synthwave/Cyber punk/Blade Runner mood. Rain, lightning, and the synth envelop you. Transporting you to a Tron or Matrix inspired world. The mellow vocals (a Synthwave staple) add another layer of richness and build on the dreamy mood.

The second song on in the album is "On the Run". This instrumental is a classic Synthwave song. The mood, the synths, the electronic drums. All fuse together to create feelings of floating through a cyber world of 1s and 0s.

Today (2018) the Synthwave genre is strong. Artists from all corners of the world are producing albums and hitting the road to perform live. You can hear full albums on YouTube and discover new Synthwave artists using the Recommendations. The album covers make them easy to spot.

Here are a few of my current favorites:


The Midnight



Night Runner

Com Truise