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Synthwave Sunday: Hollywood Burns, Invaders (Full Album Stream)

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The debut album from dark synthwave newcomers Hollywood Burns has arrived on the scene with as much fanfare as I can recall a brand new synthwave artist garnering in some time. The album finally came out this past Friday, April 13th (how perfect!) via synthwave powerhouse label Blood Music (where else?), but this thing’s been getting heat ever since the first single dropped a couple of months back.

Why so much hype? Invaders taps into an important aspect of proto-synthwave that’s mostly been left behind as the genre has exploded beyond its electronic bedroom producer roots to a force in the worldwide music scene: the macabre, the creepy, the spooky, the horrifying. As synthwave has grown, its John Carpenter-inspired, soundtrack-like dynamics have largely been replaced by pounding beats, relentless energy and distorted everything. Not that all of those things aren’t great — we love them! — but sometimes a bit of theatricality is FUN, ya know? Hollywood Burns brings back synthwave’s campy roots, but it does so without feeling retro-for-the-sake-of-retro (in an already retro-based genre); Invaders blends the old and the new to perfect effect, allowing the genre’s past to find a perfect fit within its newer production style.

Invaders is out now; stream it below and order via Bandcamp.

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