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Synthwave Sunday: Jake Bowen (Periphery, Four Seconds Ago) Lists His Favorite Synthwave Tracks

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Hello! My name is Jake Bowen and I play guitar in a band you’re probably gonna make fun of in the comments section (Periphery), so let me save you some time, edgelord: we suck, and yes, we will eventually die.

Now that the important stuff is out of the way I’d like to share some music with you. Synthwave has become one of those genres of music where there’s a ton of it, requiring a little gold panning to find the good stuff. So leave your prospector hat at home, Billy, and allow me to do the heavy lifting!

Four Seconds Ago’s new album, The Vacancy, is schedule for a September 28th release on Periphery’s 3DOT Recordings label. Pre-order it here and listen to the track “Galaxy” below. 

1. Com Truise – “Silicon Tare”

Any time I’m explaining synthwave I always have my go-to songs or artists, and Com Truise is one of them. This particular song is a bit of a hidden gem in Com Truise’s catalog; it appears on an EP of the same name. The best part about CT’s sound is that while it has modern, punchy production it retains a lot of the authentic vibe of older synth production by utilizing synths like the Roland Juno-106 and the Moog Slim Fatty. A lot of this has to do with the ability of these synths to be detuned.

2. The Midnight – “The Equaliser (Not Alone)”

The Midnight was introduced to me by my good buddy Spencer Sotelo, and once I heard the album Endless Summer I was hooked. This track is a real head-bobber and the production is super polished. I highly recommend checking out this album because I believe that this one really sets the bar for what synthwave should be.

3. Gunship – “Tech Noir”

If you’re new to the genre you’ve probably noticed by now that synthwave is basically a love letter to and nostalgia for the ’80s. The aesthetic, the fashion and the sound are all brought into the present by paying homage to an era that hit hard but died fast. I think that’s what great about the genre even though it’s all about eating jars upon jars of Member Berries. ANYWAY, Gunship understands this: they named this track after a place in The Terminator and the intro is narrated by none other than ’80s movie master John Carpenter.

4. Timecop1983 – “Cruise”

I don’t know much about Timecop1983 other than whenever I select “related artists” on Spotify while listening to the ones I mentioned above, Timecop1983 keeps popping up and keeps delivering. The great thing about Timecop1983 is that there are a ton of tracks — so throw on the whole discography, see if I care!

5. Mitch Murder – “Breeze”

“Breeze” was one of the first synthwave songs I ever heard, before I even knew that synthwave was a thing. My reaction was like, “aw that’s cute, it sounds the like the ’80s,” but then I dug a little deeper and figured out that Mitch Murder (Johan Bengtsson) was a monster musician and had an impressively large body of work. You might recognize his name from his contribution to the Kung Fury soundtrack.

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