The 10 best synthpop songs of May 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. Red Cell – “From the Soil”

A new era of Red Cell begins. The Swedish duo unveils their first new song since last year’s self-titled fourth album, one of my favorite albums of the year. “From the Soil” showcases the band’s gift for soaring, anthemic synthpop with a rousing chorus of “Love will hear us. Will fear us. Will tear us.”

9. Faderhead feat. Neuroticfish – “Die for This”

Faderhead may be known for club bangers like “Tzdv” and “Fistful of Fuck You,” but astute followers know that some of his best work includes serious songs like “Horizon Born” and “Asteria.” This year, he’s been releasing new songs every month that fall into the serious category. The contemplative May release “Die For This” gets a vocal assist from Sascha Klein—it’s the best of the bunch (so far).

8. White Noise TV – “Drowning Winds”

Berlin-based duo White Noise TV are on the cusp of releasing their third studio album, New Dawn. Final pre-release single “Drowning Winds,” one of the album’s best tracks, revels in the sort of thumping beats and contemplative lyrics you’re in for when the full-length arrives.

7. Cold Cave – “Blackberries”

Cold Cave songs of late tend to fall in one of two categories of influence: Sisters of Mercy or New Order. Their latest track, “Blackberries,” is a little bit of both. Wesley Eisold’s barely decipherable vocals summon Andrew Eldritch from the cavernous depths, but that ratatat drum patter is pure “Blue Monday.”

6. Dead Lights feat. Massive Ego – “When the Lights Come Down”

“When the Lights Come Down” is Dead Lights’ first new song since their sophomore album, Glitterspit. It’s also the first time they’ve tapped a featured artist, the always welcome voice of Massive Ego, Marc Massive. I couldn’t think of a better fit. Marc Massive’s own brand of glamorous goth adds a charming elegance to Dead Lights’ signature sound.

5. Sydney Valette – “La Maman et le Fantôme”

French artist Syndey Valette has become one of the best beatmakers in the biz. “La Maman et le Fantôme” is a stunning thumper. The entire song is in French, so I have no idea what he’s singing about—the title translates to “The Mom and the Ghost.” No matter. Layers of rousing electronics do a solid job conveying the song’s vibrant tension.

4. Male Tears – “Talk to Me”

California’s Male Tears are leaning heavily into plunky Italo sounds of the ’80s as they approach the release of their next album, Parad​í​sco. Like many songs from that era, “Talk to Me” even opens with an adorable little giggle, then quickly unspools a lovely keyboard melody and charming vocals. The whole thing is a blast of unrelenting joy.

3. Solar Fake – “Nothing’s Wrong”

In May, Solar Fake released their seventh studio album, Don’t Push This Button! The album’s best track is “Nothing’s Wrong,” which stands out for the way its buzzsaw electronics amp up Sven Friedrich’s malice and the way he unfurls his lines with rhythmic cadence. The instantly memorable hook packs a wallop: “Let’s just close our eyes and pretend there’s nothing wrong.”

2. Whorticulture – “Faust”

Colorado’s Whorticulture feels like they’re on the verge of blowing up. They’ve been steadily building an audience with impressive singles, including an amazing cover of the Tori Amos classic, “Crucify.” Their latest though is a whole ‘nother level. “Faust” threads gothic subject matter through a tapestry of mesmerizing synth riffs and industrial soundscapes. I can’t wait to hear what they do next.

1. PART2 – “Feels Like Home”

I’ve been tracking the synthpop project PART2 since 2021 when they released a gorgeous song called “Everything Is Here” that I included on my list of the year’s best music. Yet I still know almost nothing about them. I’ve figured out that they’re a Swedish trio, and that’s about it. Latest single “Feels Like Home” is an enticing, instantly memorable song that is their best track yet.

Related posts