The 10 best synthpop songs of February 2024

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

Here are my favorite songs of the month in synthpop, futurepop, darkwave, and adjacent genres. If you want to follow my music discovery this year, subscribe to my 2024 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. A Spell Inside – “Celebrate the Past”

The long-running German synthpop band A Spell Inside returns from a four-year absence with with a new song that pushes all my nostalgia buttons. Atop dynamic beats and pulsating synth riffs, they quite literally celebrate the past with this rousing chorus: “So alive dancing into the night. So alive back in 1985.”

9. Kontravoid feat. Chelsey Crowley – “Losing Game”

This month is teeming with incredible team-ups, but the most unexpected one may be masked artist Kontravoid and Nuovo Testamento singer Chelsey Crowley. On “Losing Game,” Kontravoid combines his trademark techno beats with Chelsey’s majestic vocals. It feels like a long lost remix of an ’80s classic.

8. Dancing Plague – “Echoes of the Void”

We’ve already heard a couple of tracks from Dancing Plague’s upcoming full-length, including the unforgettable 2022 single, “Dreamless.” New song “Echoes of the Void” dives deeper into the mire with more thumping industrial beats and Conor Knowles’ cavernous vocals.

7. Male Tears – “Sex on Drugs”

California’s Male Tears continues a run of new material that explores classic synthpop, modern darkwave, EBM beats, and more. Their latest, “Sex on Drugs,” amps up the glam with New Romantic melodies and joyous beats that recall early New Order, all filtered through their trademark lens of DIY charm.

6. Ultra Sunn – “Shake Your Demons”

Following a string of singles and EPs, Belgian act Ultra Sunn is set to release their debut album on Artoffact Records. Their new material blends the band’s propulsive EBM beats with dynamic synth riffs and smooth vocals. I particularly enjoy the way “Shake Your Demons” interpolates the Underworld classic, “Born Slippy.”

5. Black Asteroid feat. ACTORS – “Ashes and Dust”

In May, New York’s Black Asteroid will release a new album that features an impressive roster of collaborators, including Front Line Assembly and The Cult’s Ian Astbury. The high-powered first single “Ashes and Dust” features ACTORS’s Jason Corbett contributing vocals and warped guitar in a turn so unlike Jason’s post-punk band but instantly compelling.

4. Die Sexual – “Lights Down Low”

Los Angeles-based duo Die Sexual is quickly emerging as one of the hottest acts in the club scene. Swimming in the same sinister waters as acts like Night Club and Pixel Grip, they’re establishing a unique identity with seductive vocals. “Lights Down Low” sets the mood for a very steamy encounter.

3. Helix – “Unimaginable Place”

Mari Kattman is a versatile artist whose recent solo output embraces aggressive soundscapes and tougher edges. Her work in Helix with partner Tom Shear follows a more traditional futurepop format, allowing her voice to demonstrate her more melodic side. She sounds so effortless and gorgeous on “Unimaginable Place,” which may be my favorite thing the duo’s done yet.

2. Frozen Plasma & Rotersand – “Mayhem”

German bands Frozen Plasma and Rotersand are embarking on a joint tour they’re calling Electromaniax. They’ve also worked together on a new single called “Mayhem,” and everything about this team-up radiates joy. The beats glisten, the vocals inspire—especially around the 3-minute mark when the tempo slows and those bubbly keys flutter beneath Rascal’s beautiful voice.

1. Kanka + Bodewell – “I Am the One”

Who knew a collaboration between two veteran EBM acts would produce some of the finest electropop of the year? Uwe Kanka of Armageddon Dildos and Martin Bodewell of Orange Sector take a more melodic route on their new album Stroboscope, yet still infuse the sounds with the clanks and thumps of classic body music. I loved the pre-release single “Believe,” and the album’s opening track, “I Am the One,” delivers the same catchy charm.

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