Retro-Pop Revival – Ryal, Jordan Lucas, Mario The Mood, Bruno Muerte

Electronic Alternative Synth duo Ryal is the collaboration between singer and keyboardist Jacque Ryal, and producer Aaron Nevezie.  Their new single Best Friend is an upbeat retro pop classic with a rare dark aura.  An honest tribute to the bands pets, it’s hard not to suspect a deeper meaning from the songs contemplative design.  Perhaps it’s the descending chords that fight against the warm intention, but singer Jacque plays along, leaving room for interpretation.  And that’s the unexpected erotic vibe to best friend, one where you wonder about the rewards, and the power of your Best Friend status.  

   A bevy of influences from the trailblazing indie world.  Heavyweights like Thom Yorke, Bonobo, and Tame Impala make their credited favorite artists.  It’s of that caliber, that affirmation to create something different, that drives Ryal at it’s core.  It’s no wonder that the band continue the tradition of absorbing the best of everything they love and evolving it in their own way.  The result is like a retrowave reincarnation of Sylvan Esso.  They utilize the dramatic builds of Kavinsky with the production intellect of Fear Of Tigers.  Singer Jacque Ryal brings a rare R&B 70s pop aesthetic to the synthwave style.  Her voice is full of genuine soul, she sings with a measured conviction.  There’s a slight hint of disco legends Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summers.  Her voice is warm, and cuts into the mix in the vein of those vintage classics.  

  In the style of the aforementioned Yorke, the vibe is equally dark and infectious.  There’s an undeniable catchiness to contrast the dramatic haunting that resonates beneath the song.  This is a new night drive introspective classic, made for the deepest parts of the journey, top down stars in your eyes. Just hope that someone else has the wheel, as you will get lost in the vibe.  

Enjoy Best Friend now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist

Jordan Lucas

Jordan Lucas gets a lot off his chest on his new album Serious Musician.  The eclectic songwriter wears multiple disguises.  At times he leans indie rock, and can be reminiscent of The War On Drugs.  But on tracks like Great Design, drum machines and retro synths are at the foundation of the arrangement.  Melodically, it always retains an indie sensibility, as dark chord evolutions revolve beneath sparse vocals and entrancing leads.  

Our 80s retro pop obsession has yielded an abundance of sonic masterpieces that utilize crisp modern production, but overall the synthwave scene lacks great songwriting .  A songwriter first, Lucas hits the mark on Great Design.  Though it carries a heavy nostalgic significance, Great Design captures the vibe without getting too close for comfort.  The writing and melody retain their autonomy, while always staying true to form.  An elegant offering of retrofuturism, as Great Design is a believable interpretation of how 80s synth pop might have progressed if it wasn’t derailed by grunge.  Great Design connects with releases by artists like Beach House, M83, and Future Islands who have singles fully immersed in retro-synth worlds but are not considered part of the synthwave scene.  The 80s will always be at the core of indie pop, but these artists have occasionally embellished their retro obsessions.  

  Serious Musician slaps from front to back, and fans of multi-faceted projects like The War On Drugs, Arcade Fire, and My Morning Jacket should enjoy all the colors from Jordan’s extensive palette.  Hardcore synth fans, however, will find everything they crave with Great Design.   

  Enjoy Great Design now on our Best New Synthwave playlist.  

Mario the Mood

Brooklyn based producer Mario The Mood marries his love for synthwave and trance on his debut single Weekend Kiss.  Featuring elusive singer Cecilia Lim, Mario asserts himself as a need to know artist in mainstream pops growing 80s revival.  Mario draws from synthwaves undeniable new dance classics, capturing their catchy electro-first neo-nostalgia.  Recalling acts like FM-84 and September 1987, it sounds like the Eighties on steroids, pulling more from modern productions extensive arsenal rather than a vintage throwback recreation.  Mario also brings a fresh pop sensibility.  He is not derivative like The Weeknd, rather he brings authentic characteristics from EDM’s new classics, pulling elements of dubstep and mainstream pop into the wave world.  It connects with energetic hits by Dua Lipa and Demi Lovato and genre bending remixes for Lana Del Rey, but mostly its like a Pretty Lights & Diplo synthwave love child. 

  Subtle guitar fills are the focal of Mario’s live performance.   He’s been gigging around NYC with his backing band.  The live performance is a chance to accentuate the songs most dramatic moments, as Weekend Kiss is an undeniable EDM hit meant to pull you onto the dance floor, or be embellished by a DJ pulling on its trademark drop potential.    

  Enjoy Weekend Kiss now on our Best New Synthwave playlist.  

Bruno Muerte

  BRUNO MUERTE wanders into the a galactic abyss on their recent Monodrome.  Healthy doses of glitchy drums, video games synths, and deep sub bass carry the arrangement.  A distorted lead guitar is free to roam overhead, and provides catch melodies that get in your head.  There’s soundtrack appeal, connecting with classic works by Giorgio Moroder.  Monodrome is a cinematic instrumental fit for a montage.  The deep bass and brooding atmosphere suggest an aura of mystery, as the lead synths and guitar overhead accentuate the drama.  It recalls theatrical progressive instrumentals by projects like Dream Theatre, who create complex instrumental worlds dosed in synths and isolated distorted guitars.  BRUNO MUERTE adds that insatiable element of retro drums, the nostalgic trait 80s lovers crave.  On Monodrome, the upbeat pop rhythm contrasts the musics dark design.  Great art often demands contrast, and BRUNO MUERTE deliver.  

  An instrumental of this nature, where electronic music meets a live lead guitar, also connects with an abundance of music in the jam band scene.  Bands like The Disco Biscuits and Lotus strive to recreate this sound live.  MUERTE could make a nice addition to that scene, and infiltrate the DJ festival takeover with live instruments.  Injecting an additional dose of retro nostalgia, they bring a unique twist to the world of livetronica.  

  Get lost on Monodrome, now on our Best New Synthwave playlist 

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