Top 10

2020 has been some year, yea? But what an amazing 12 months for music. I could come up with top 20 and still have hard time picking the best stuff, but here's my 10 favorite tracks from this year. All I have to say in general is WOW.


#10

In The Blood
Artist: Dizzy Mizz Lizzy
Country: Denmark
Genre: Rock
Twitter: @officialdizzy
Listen (YouTube)

Alter Echo, what a brilliant album. I didn't know what to feature. The 2019 single California Rain was so damn good last year. Dizz just hits hard every time and the vocals are somehow even more incredible than the guitar riffs. Again, brilliant!


#9

Stephanie
Artist: Beverly Killz
Country: Italy
Genre: Rock
Twitter: @BeverlyKillz
Listen (YouTube)

This album by Beverly Killz really grew on me. The vocals are so powerful and this track has such movement and emotion to it. I'll definitely keep an eye on this group in the future!


#8

Varjorastaat
Artist: Viikate
Country: Finland
Genre: Heavy Metal
Twitter: @ViikateOfficial
Listen (YouTube)

Viikate has always been one of my favorite Finnish bands. But I haven't heard anything from them in a while that hit me as hard as this one. The bridge after the chorus is a killer. What a gem this one. Super impressed.


#7

Hologram
Artist: Dynazty
Country: Sweden
Genre: Power Metal
Twitter: @dynaztyband
Listen (YouTube)

I was already digging Dynazty but this release really caused some shock waves round my house. Brilliant melodies, powerful vocals, excellent vibes all around. Had tough time to select a track from the album, but we go with this. Wistful and amazing.


#6

Running With You
Artist: Anders Enger Jensen
Country: Norway
Genre: Synth Pop
Twitter: @eoxstudios
Listen (YouTube)

I was so excited when I saw the new release by Mr. Jensen. I've been a fan for a while now. And it didn't disappoint. This is just my favorite from the album, but there are so many great ones. Listen to them all! Now!!


#5

Something Wonderful
Artist: Ronan Keating
Country: Ireland
Genre: Pop
Twitter: @ronanofficial
Listen (YouTube)

I adore a good build-up. And this is magnificent. There's something about Mr. Keating's voice that just speaks to me. It's in the vibrations. And the way the track is constructed leads you down a path of fantastic sonic landscapes. A wonderful departure of his simpler pop tracks.


#4

Hold Your Fire
Artist: Magnus Karlsson's Free Fall, Dino Jelusick
Country: Sweden, Croatia
Genre: Power Metal
Listen (YouTube)

Now here's an epic. I've written many epics and they always turn out to be my favorites. I guess I just love epics. And I love this track. The build-up, the soaring vox, the choir, the solos. It's just filled with goodies. Excellence!


#3

Atomic Dust
Artist: Volkor X
Genre: Electronic
Twitter: @VolkorX
Listen (YouTube)

This track is so damn driving. It just keeps pushing forward like a train, while the cosmic landscape opens and transforms in front of your eyes. I can't think of anything quite like this song, which is saying something. It's a trip. An experience. Fantastical.


#2

Poseidon
Artist: Javarnanda
Country: Italy
Genre: Electronic
Listen (Bandcamp)

Poseidon makes my thoughts leave this plane of existence. It transports me into somewhere deep inside. Somewhere, where I can breathe and quiet down. It's the type of piece of art that I look for. Art that transcends my normal experience of the world and offers something unique.


#1

Materialize
Artist: Thomas Bergersen
Country: Norway
Genre: Symphonic Metal
Twitter: @twostepsfromhe1
Listen (Spotify)

My past with Mr. Bergersen's music has been interesting. I originally found Into Darkness and fell in love. Which in turn led me to listen to his whole discography, only to find out that, while impressive, I really only loved Into Darkness. Until now.

Humanity - Chapter II is an epic. And the compositions are varied without a dull moment. To me, it all culminates to Materialize, which is such an emotional track, with magnificent vocals and arrangement of orchestral instruments with more contemporary ones.

It is an incredible journey. And it was just released very recently. Maybe I'm too close to it still, but I feel that it's very personal to me on some level. I just love this soundtracky feel that can conjure up an emotion in my dark, twisted heart. It's glorious.



Incredible year for metal. I could've just made this whole list metal, but there's other stuff I loved too. Also, Nordic countries represented! Don't remember hearing anything from Iceland. Next year?

About





The New Synthwave playlist only features tracks from the current year. There's only one track per artist, exception being, artists can additionally be featured in tracks of other artists.

The playlist is roughly in order of quality, with the best tracks appearing at the top of the list. The quality standards are very much subjective, but I take into consideration the sound quality, strength of the theme, uniqueness, and personal emotional connection.

It is impossible to catch all Synthwave (or 80s synth inspired) tracks on Spotify because of the popularity of the genre. (The amount of active artists in 2019 being around 750.) This is why I need your help. If you are aware of a lesser-known Synthwave artist, please write me a message with the form below. In 2019, active music-lovers like you helped me discover 20 new Synthwave artists!

Thank you!

Releases

Aurora is a love letter to the 1980s synthesizer sounds and movie scores. Some of the tracks could be considered synthwave, darkwave, or more accurately newretrowave.

The album features many styles. Futuristic sci-fi themes like Omnichrist Deluxe and the track Aurora make you feel like you're on another planet or in a cyberpunk noir film. The more upbeat Hard Knuckle harkens back to the video game arcade days of the 80s.

Ultra Nightmare and Nighttime Is My Time put you in the middle of a horrific thriller while the more cinematic Omen and Back Alley Necromancy take their time with a more sinister atmospheric approach. Nagowa Highway and Terminal Velocity fill your nostrils with gasoline and cool night air.

Contact

Let me know if there's anything missing from the New Synthwave playlist.