Here’s the Pansentient League’s Top 20 Synthpop Albums of 2019. Thanks to all the artists involved for giving us this marvelous music!
Jer aka @afront
TOP 20 Synthpop of 2019
Fragrance. – Now That I’m Real
This welcome debut LP from Fragrance layers cold-on-hot for some excellent warm-wave synthpop.
The Sweeps – Nostalgia for the Future
Another paramementic collection of retro-synthpop stylings from The Sweeps – “Love Shines” and “Living in a Cold World” are two songs you’ll especially look forward to remembering.
The Rude Awakening – Kaleidoscope
A re-sleazed synthpop musical, Kaleidoscope is your post-watershed synthpop album for 2019. Johnny Normal’s at the top of his game here, while Bridget Gray adds light to the feast with some effervescent love (cf. the lovely “Butterflies” and self-aware “Another Song”)
Knight$ – Dollars & Cents
This fab ‘n funky debut album from KNIGHT$ is newly romantic in all the right ways, and the deep italo connection won’t leave you feeling short-changed.
Crew of Me&You – Body Count / Home Free
Merge these 2 maxi EPs for the definitive Crew of Me&You 2019 experience! It’s worth it for some slick synthpop sparks (especial dirty love for “Come out and Play” and “Gold Chains & High Tops”)
Jules Verne Theory – Flat Earth Eclipse
Wonderfully inventive and contemporary synthpop from our islander friends, with hooks aplenty in songs like “Downsize Your Life” and “Bring Me the Highlife”
Hot Chip – A Bath Full of Ecstasy
An album full of smooth synthpop to soak in and warm your bones.
Howard Jones – Transform
The legendary Howard Jones shows the new kids how it’s done in this brilliant return to form. With a little help from his pal BT, Mr. Jones delivers an album-full of fresh synth-pop songs that delightfully brought me back to circa. 1985.
Daggers clicks in all the right places. This is proper-good powerful and poignant synthpop, with fabulous vocals and resonant memories.
Sydney Valette – How Many Lives
Minimally waved electro-punkism from Sydney Valette, with bursts of synthpop sunshine in tracks like the hypnotically gorgeous “Space and Time”
Here’s my review of the Silicon Dreams festival held in Liverpool, July 2019.
TOP 10 Synthpop of 2019
Gemini Rising – Best Case Life
13 seriously good, perfectly produced tunes build an electric atmosphere to contemplate the future with. Fiora’s vocals will beguile you while the slick synthpop pulse keeps the heart beating longer.
Last Night On Earth – Electronica Royale
This debut album from Stockholm’s Last Night On Earth hits the spot. Vintage synths drive this wonderful collection of finely-crafted, warmly-chill scandi synthpop songs for the electric youth generation. It’s gonna be quite a night!
The Dynalectric Orchestra – Humanity
This dreamy electropop wave from the Dynalectric Orchestra pairs a retro-synth machine with powerful, heart-felt vox from a variety of vocalists. Follow with the also-excellent 9-track “AFTERGLOW” EP for the full-orchestra experience.
Pixel Grip – Heavy Handed
This jewel of a debut album has wonderful retro synth sounds forming some lushly infectious synth-pop tunes. Vocalist Rita Lukea sings with experience and dynamism on killer tracks like “Diamonds” and “Soft Peaks” – a hidden gem; Ameritronically Yours.
The George Kaplan Conspiracy – Recollected Memories
Following a string of magnificent EPs, French duo The George Kaplan Conspiracy’s debut album maintains that exquisite high quality. A nostalgic, contemplative shell wraps around this synthpop-funk for lazy days and hazy nights (or so it seems).
Harmjoy – Iron Curtain. Velvet Glove.
This superlative second album from Titans/Tyske Ludder cross-over band Harmjoy brings oh-so de-lush vocals to a strong hour of riveting and smooth futurepop dance beats.
Bananarama – In Stereo
Wow, was not expecting such sublimely synthy stuff like this from national treasures Keren and Sara – Bananarama return-a-delica! With slick electropop to follow moves from Kylie and Sophie, In Stereo has a double-dose of infectious, hit-worthy disco delights to keep you forever dancing.
TOP 3 Synthpop of 2019
Operators – Radiant Dawn
A glowing collection of brilliant analog post-punk synthpop, Radiant Dawn is 21st century indie rock pulped up for the post sci-fi synthesizer set (i.e. this album rocks!)
Red Sleeping Beauty – Stockholm
Winter in Sweden sounds idyllic, if this gorgeous synthpop album is anything to go by. 2019 was an epic year for Red Sleeping Beauty 2.0, with the release of this terrific 10-tracker and as many again top lovely songs on EPs. Both vocalists hold their own with range and heart, and the 80s synth landscape welcomes all electronica veterans to this fine city of song.
Pansentient League’s ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2019
From the ever-mucky North of England, ITOP’s essential debut album shines a light on the World with its first-principle bleeps, eccentronic tweaks and synth-pop treats.
There’s so much to love about this record, especially if you grew up in the school of original synth. From the Kosmisher Broadcast of “She Walks” to the singalong-a-tronic, end-of-the-night waltz “Oh Yosemite,” these 10 songs deliver a perfect mix of multiplex synthpop with Confidence and old Yoda magic. Bloody brilliant.
Enjoy and learn from Pansentient League’s album of the year!
Listen to select tracks for all the above albums + many more here: