The genre gained popularity in the early 2010s, coinciding with the resurgence of retro aesthetic and its rise in mainstream culture. Synthwave music has often been associated with the synthpop, dream pop, chillwave, vaporwave, witch house, indie dance and outrun genres.
Synthwave bands list contains a list of bands or artists that should be listed here but aren’t for some reason. This synthwave artists list answers the questions “who are the best synthwave bands of all time?” and “who is the greatest synthwave musician ever?” If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band’s music instead of just voting for the most popular synthwave bands that you might’ve heard of. (101 items)
Synthwave, also known as outrun, retrowave, futuresynth, and other names is a genre that emerged in the early 2000s. It’s a revival of 1980s synth music, and it’s all over the place. The genre has seen a rise and a fall in popularity over the years, but it remains recognizable.
Synthwave bands and artists are usually heavily influenced by 80s retro culture, especially sci-fi media of that era. This is the source of the genre’s aesthetic.
The genre has spawned many subgenres such as darksynth (a dark spin on synthwave), cyberpunk (inspired by cyberpunk culture), vaporwave (in which elements of consumerism are satirized), and more.
Synthwave music is not solely synth-based; it often uses guitars along with synthesizers in its production. Usually, however, synthesizers are the main focus of the sound design of this genre. The list below is made up of bands that have used synthesizers as their primary instrumentation.
The word “synthwave” is often used to describe a wide range of retro-inspired, analog-sounding music made since the mid-2000s. But it wasn’t until 2011 that the genre’s first great albums began to surface. That year, College and Anoraak released their debut full-lengths, A Real Hero and Nightdrive With You respectively, marking a turning point in the scene’s history. Credit for the term goes to record label and distributor Rosso Corsa Records, which started using it in 2008 as they began releasing material from artists such as Mitch Murder, Jordan F., Lazerhawk, Dream Division, The Midnight and Lost Years.
In the decade since then, synthwave has become so popular that a whole new scene has emerged out of its popularity—outrun—which combines the original sounds of ’80s synth with contemporary hip-hop beats. Some synthwave purists dismissed outrun’s early releases as mere synthwave-inspired rap music; now it’s arguably more popular than its parent genre.
This list presents 20 of synthwave/outrun’s greatest albums from 2011 onward; many of them are also available on Bandcamp in digital and vinyl formats.
Synthwave is the style of electronic dance music emerging from the 1980s. The genre combines elements of science fiction, action and horror films, video game music and pop culture, with a retrofuturist feel.
Synthwave includes several renowned subgenres such as retrowave, outrun, vaporwave, future funk and chillwave. It has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over recent years and has evolved into a thriving scene. With big new names such as The Midnight, Lazerhawk and Timecop1983 (among others) writing some of the best synth music of recent times and influencing a whole new generation of musicians.
Synthwave is also closely associated with dark synth artists such as Perturbator, Dance with the Dead and Carpenter Brut. These artists tend to mix the dark, atmospheric sounds of synthwave with the heavy bass beats of industrial.
Synthwave is a genre of electronic music influenced by 1980s film soundtracks and video games. Synthwave is also known as “outrun”, “retrowave” and “futuresynth”. The genre developed from various niche communities on the Internet during the mid 2000s, reaching wider popularity in the early 2010s. In its music and cover artwork, synthwave engages in retrofuturism, emulating 1980s science fiction, action, and horror media, sometimes compared to cyberpunk.
1. Vangelis (born 29 March 1943) is a Greek composer of electronic, progressive, ambient, jazz, and orchestral music. He is best known for his Academy Award-winning score to Chariots of Fire (1981), composing scores to the films Blade Runner (1982), Missing (1982), Antarctica (1983), The Bounty (1984), 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), and Alexander (2004).
2. Kavinsky: French house artist whose first full-length album OutRun was released in 2013 by Record Makers label. He has also collaborated with Daft Punk on their soundtrack for the film Tron: Legacy.
3. Timecop1983: Dutch musician and
Synthwave music is a genre of electronic music, heavily influenced by the sounds of 80s soundtracks and video games…
As with most genres that lean heavily on nostalgia, synthwave is a love letter to the ’80s. The genre is devoted to recreating the sounds of that decade, whether it’s through analog synths, drum machines or samples from VHS tapes.
It’s a scene that has not only become popular with music listeners, but also film directors. Filmmaker and synthwave musician Kavinsky has seen his music featured in movies like Drive and The Bling Ring, while synthwave artists like College (who worked on the soundtrack for the film Hot Tub Time Machine) and Com Truise (who composed the score for Maniac) have been hired by directors seeking an authentic ’80s soundtrack.
Today, synthwave is one of electronic music’s most popular genres, and here are 10 of its most influential artists.