The 10 best synthpop songs of December 2023

Counting down my favorite synthpop, futurepop, and darkwave songs of the month.

Here are my favorite synthpop, futurepop, and darkwave songs of December 2023. If you want to follow my music discovery this year, subscribe to my 2023 playlist on Spotify. New songs are added every Friday. Sort by Date Added to see new tracks appear at the top of the playlist.

10. The Distant Minds – “Obsession”

British duo The Distant Minds delivers another wistful gem on “Obsession,” a sneak peek at their upcoming album slated for an early 2024 release. This track is one of three songs they’ve released this year, including “Simple Life ’83,” which I included on my list of this year’s best songs.

9. Bootblacks – “Wilderness”

New York band Bootblacks returned this year with a new lineup and a new vibe that sees them headed in a lush, synth-driven direction. I love this new sound. “Wilderness” is the dreamy second single from their forthcoming fifth album, Paradise, due out next year.

8. Beyond Obsession – “I Can’t Tell”

We’ve already heard the title track from German duo Beyond Obsession’s next album, Kings of Ashes, which arrives in January 2024. Second single “I Can’t Tell” is a blast of mechanical beats, vibrant synth riffs, and tranquil vocals.

7. Unify Separate – “City of Light”

Stockholm-based synth duo Unify Separate have returned with their first new song since their monumental 2022 album, Music Since Tomorrow. “City of Light” is a sparkling tune marked by intriguing lyrics and a strong bass line that showcases the project’s distinctive fusion of synthpop and alternative music.

6. Lights of Euphoria – “Euphoric Light”

In 2022, German project Lights of Euphoria released an incredible run of singles that included “Man and Machine,” one of my top songs of the year. They further that momentum with their only 2023 track, the eponymously titled “Euphoric Light.” It’s a lovely, trance-inducing track that stretches the word “euphoria” into an alluring hook.

5. Eisfabrik – “All My Life”

Seven albums in, I’ve kinda grown fatigued of Eisfabrik’s cold weather concept. But I really like what they’ve done with “All My Life,” the latest single from new album Götter in Weiß (German for Gods in White). The freezing temps and snow-covered landscapes set the stage for a beguiling song about searching for meaning, all set to a bouncy beat.

4. TR/ST – “Robrash”

The dark electronic pop project TR/ST recently joined Dais Records, home to a number of innovative darkwave bands, including Kite and Drab Majesty. The oddly named “Robrash,” TR/ST’s first song on Dais, is all slinky beats, chaotic programming, and mostly indecipherable lyrics delivered in Robert Alfons’ trademark nasally vocals.

3. Beyond Border – “New Start”

German band Border Border is at their best making soaring, uplifting synthpop like their anthem, “What Makes the World Go Round,” my favorite song of 2021. “New Start,” the third track from next month’s Gathering record, tugs at those same life-affirming threads with thick beats and inspired vocals from singer Kai Vincenz Németh.

2. Black Nail Cabaret – “Autogenic”

Black Nail Cabaret’s latest offering is giving me major J.G. Ballard vibes. The first new song since their 2020 album, Gods Verging on Sanity, and the first single from their next album, Chrysanthemum, “Autogenic” weaves a delicious tapestry of dark techno beats, polished programming, and exquisite vocals from Emese Arvai-Illes.

1. Neuroticfish – “Everything”

Neuroticfish’s seventh studio album contains no shortage of introspective bangers like “Echokammer” and “Rival” that could easily top this month’s list. But the more I listen to The Demystification of the Human Heart, the more I find myself replaying deep album cut “Everything.” It’s a triumph of creative beats, soaring synths, and Sascha Klein’s anthemic vocals that build towards an exquisite wail of “We all share the scars.”

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