May 21, 2024


There was something special to me about the synth-pop sounds of the early-to-mid 80’s – before analogue synthesizers got too clever. I was knee high to a newt when I first heard Kraftwerk’s ‘The Model’ – my earliest memory of music. It sounded like something from another time; cold and clinical, yet catchy and colourful – like a Borg dancing a rainbow tutu.

Early 80’s synthpop was largely an androgynous male dominated genre – Eurythmics and Yazoo being rarer female-fronted exceptions. Now, I’d hate to use the idiot’s idiom, ‘retro-mania’, but there’s been a bracing revival of early 80’s synth-pop recently, and the bulk of what I like exists outside of the mainstream (better out than in, I say). Even more refreshing for me is that a lot of them are female-fronted.

So, without further adieu (be-do-be-do) and padding-out of words, I give you my personal pick of synth-pop angels from this century who are crafting melodious homages to the pioneers of the last. Among them are Alison Goldfrapp, , I Blame Coco (Stewart ‘The ‘Police’ drummer’ Copeland’s daughter), Robyn, Dragonette, and the seductive Sarah Nixie (Black Box Recorder) – who could read the local Chinese takeaway menu and still melt me. It may not surprise you to know that I also managed to sneak Tennant & Lowe into this playlist, with a bouncy remix of Lady Gaga’s ‘Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I can Say).

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