Tag Archives: synthpop

Desire – Under Your Spell (2009)

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In 2009, Chromatics’ Johnny Jewel and Nat Walker teamed up with vocalist Megan Louise to become Desire. Their debut album II was released on Italians Do It Better and explores the synthpop typical of Jewel’s label. The standout song ‘Under Your Spell’ would then appear as a centrepiece sound in the 2011 movie Drive.

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La Femme – Septembre (2016)

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la-femme

French synthpop… here we are at last. ‘Septembre’ features on La Femme’s second album Mystère. What sounds like a simple 1980s pop track eventually opens out into something a little more psychedelic than you’re initially primed for. I like it.

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Goldfrapp – Black Cherry (2002)

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Alison Goldfrapp

After Goldfrapp garnered select praise for their 2000 debut album Felt Mountain, and before they’re louder arrival on the dance floor with Supernature, the duo released the Black Cherry LP. Both synthesiser players, Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory turned up the dial on their synthpop sound. It was not to every critic’s taste, but Alison’s come-hither vocals still stirred. Listen to to the title track and disagree. Have a great week.

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Mr. Flagio – Take A Chance (1983)

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Mr. Flagio

Bridging the river of Euro synthpop, between New York disco and Chicago house, italo disco is an acquired taste. But if you want to hear the missing link that corroborates such a bold statement, you could do worse than Mr. Flagio’s cover of Material’s ‘Take a Chance’. It was released in 1983 on Squish records and featured a bass and synth treatment that would resurface in years to come.

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Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark – Souvenir (1981)

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OMD

In 1981, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark smashed it with their third album Architecture & Morality. It was commercially successful and featured a handful of chart singles. For me, ‘Souvenir’ stands out as a classic slice of 1980s synthpop. With lead keyboards player Paul Humphreys on vocals, it was in fact OMD’s saxophonist Martin Cooper that wrote and delivered that wistful hook.

 

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Propaganda – Duel (1985)

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Propaganda

Propaganda signed to Trevor Horn’s ZTT label and released the brilliant album A Secret Wish. ‘Duel’ followed ‘Jewel’ at the back end of Side A. The avant-synthpop track would be regularly remixed – most famously as ‘Jewelled’, which was used as the music for BBC’s World Rally reports. The original still sounds great – Susanne Freytag’s teutonic vocals are pitch perfect for the sound.

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Gary Numan – M.E. (1979)

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The Pleasure Principle was Gary Numan’s third studio album, but his first under his own name and not as Tubeway Army. In 1979, the album was a no.1 hit that would break ground for all the synthpop acts that would quickly follow – Ultravox, The Human League, OMD etc. But much like the rest of his early work, a track like ‘M.e.’ is going to better known as a sample elsewhere; in this case, its the hook for Basement Jaxx’s 2002 hit ‘Where’s Your Head At?’.

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Billy Idol – Eyes Without a Face (1983)

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No less peculiar than yesterday’s track, ‘Eyes Without a Face’ is a ballad by Billy Idol; yes that’s right – a ballad. Off his 1983 album Rebel Yell, the song is a tale of a disintegrating love affair. Of course, Idol does everything he can to add some rock and roll swagger and producer Steve Stevens inserts a few customary guitar riffs half way through. Strangely, it works. Idol was on a roll and this time with the help of the synthpop sound of 1983.

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