The 10 best synthpop songs of June 2024

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

Vintage Voltage

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. The Saint Paul – “Resistance”

German synthpop outfit The Saint Paul returned last month with their latest album, Interference. We’ve already heard the penetrating singles “DNA” and “End of Days,” but third track “Resistance” stands out for its call to resist. This track pulses along with a hypnotic beat, whispery vocals draped in reverb, and an ethereal synthline that adds an extra layer of intensity to the album’s underpinning.

9. White Noise TV – “Bend the Knee”

German duo White Noise TV deliver another standout track from their third album, New Dawn. “Bend the Knee” exemplifies the band’s approach to modern futurepop with their clever synth effects and strong songwriting. Against a backdrop of thumping beats and carefully placed media samples, Oliver Staats’s vocals explore the complexities of a relationship that leads to an ultimatum.

8. MATTE BLVCK – “Pupula Duplex”

On songs like previous singles “Midnight & Angel” and “Vows,” California trio MATTE BLVCK gets frequently compared to Depeche Mode. They obliterate those easy comparisons on their latest release, the intriguingly titled “Pupula Duplex.” This industrial-tinged track finds Alex Gonzales frankly speaking lines like “I am nothing” while the music surrounds his voice with the thrilling percussion sounds that are the highlight of their live shows.

7. Massive Ego – “In Your Own Darkness”

Massive Ego return from hiatus with a new song that reveals the band’s new lineup and new sound. Still built upon synthesizers but now incorporating subtly strummed guitar chords from former Rosetta Stone member Porl Young, “In Your Own Darkness” reflects on frontman Marc Massive’s return from a breakdown. It may sound cliche, but I’ve long believed that music is medicine, so I find strength in inspiring lines like “my destiny alone is mine to decide” and “I no longer feel the need to hide.”

6. Emmon – “No Mans Land”

Swedish electro artist Emmon heads into haunting territory with the final track from her exceptional EXCEPTION EP. “No Man’s Land” builds dark, mysterious vibes out of its thumping, playful beat and kaleidoscopic synth effects. The atmospheric track gradually builds until the beat suddenly stops for Emmon to make a poignant declaration: “This is no man’s land.”

5. CZARINA – “Ghost Machine”

CZARINA returns with yet another banger. “Ghost Machine,” the follow-up to this year’s “Exoskeleto,” is another track from her forthcoming album that should be out by the end of the year. This one’s a fast-paced thrill ride through layers of electronic sounds and her signature bombastic style. “Ghost Machine” channels the same energy as previous CZARINA bangers like “Atomic: Ad Initivm” with rousing lines like “We have come to rise” and her trademark “ah ah ahhhh” vocal chants.

4. Priest – “Demon’s Call”

The hardworking Swedish synthpop band Priest just released their fourth album, Dark Pulse. It’s dark, dancey, infused with techno and industrial arrangements, and at times a bit quirkier than previous releases. But latest single “Demon’s Call” is pure synthpop, a joyous confection of ’80s nostalgia, and one of the loveliest songs Priest has produced yet.

3. IMPLANT – “Responsible”

The long-running Belgian project IMPLANT is in the midst of an album trilogy they call The Chaos Machines. The second part of that trilogy, Scratching the Surface, arrives in September, but it’s preceded by a captivating song called “Responsible” that leans heavily into melodic synthpop territory. The song’s rumbling beat and brilliant keyboard melody lay the foundation for powerful lyrics that point the finger at who’s responsible for environmental destruction.

2. Aiboforcen – “Everything”

Another Belgian project, Aiboforcen remains a restless entity that incorporates new sounds, new voices, and new ideas with each album cycle. Latest album Between Noise & Silence is among their best work because of songs like “Everything.” Atop a roiling electro beat, male and female voices trade verses about a failed relationship that’s produced a “little wonder.”

1. Vintage Voltage – “I Hate to Love You”

Swedish duo Vintage Voltage is a brand new project with merely one song to their name. But it’s a stunner. “I Hate to Love You” is the type of elegant, melancholic synthpop that I devour. A compelling mystery about the band adds to the’s project’s intrigue. They are veteran musicians who use botanical pseudonyms—Chris Leaf and Pete Branch—to hide their identities. I’m looking forward to more clues—and more music.

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