Best New Synthwave – Everchange, Sebastian Clarin, Kabelle, Aiko Tomi

Get caught in the vibe of Smother, the new single form Everchange.  The hard hitting bass heavy design has classic synthwave appeal.  It’s lifted by a strong crisp mix and advanced sonic intellect.  The sonic choices are impressive, connecting with the best tonal producers in the scene.  The vocals are equally crisp and masterful.  That sonic ability gives Smother a tonal advantage, pulling you in with its sonic appeal, regardless of the writing. 

Make no mistake, the song itself is catchy and melodically pleasing, with picture perfect vocals mixed bright so you can single along intelligibly.  The writing is slightly unconventional but familiar enough to connect it to a mainstream audience.  We hear classic inspirations such as Depeche Mode and Duran Duran, updated with the modern appeal of The Midnight and Kavinsky.  The pop appeal also connects it to the recent mainstream retro pop revival.  

Hear Smother now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist

Sebastian Clarin ties it together on the impressive 9 song album Aerial Cuts.  The collection includes 3 previously released singles, with his intention now fully realized on this album release. 

Clarin was already on our radar, assumingly coming out of nowhere with proficient production and post punk attitude, all glamorized with dark retro appeal.  In the spirit of post punk there’s a gothic underlayer.  Clarin embellishes that romantic gothic sentiment on dark and dreamy soundscapes like the poetic White Bear , Short Cuts, and Above Us, The Waning Moon.  The long format offers the artist an opportunity to flex their progressive inspirations while intersecting moments of retro pop bliss like on breakout single High Blood Treasure and Teeth (Cyanides). He also leans modern darkwave on the closer Spring Formula. 

The references to 80s synth pop connect Clarin to elite cult icons like Pet Shop Boys, Bauhaus, and Depeche Mode.  There’s also an indie sensibility in the spirit of Future Islands and Reflektor era works by Arcade Fire.  Clarin sells the sentiment with black leather attitude and urban appeal.  An altogether solid release, Aerial Cuts is all killer no filler.  

Sebastian Clarin is featured on our Best New Synthwave Playlist

Kabelle is inspiring on the anthemic Wonder.  Nostalgic pop intention meets clever songwriting as Wonder evolves with melodic surprise and refreshing variation.  It’s heard in the inverted chord movements that define the pre-chorus and the extended adaptations in the chorus itself.  That inventive writing has classic intellect, recalling elite pop writing that pre-dated 90s radio repetition.  It has a ton of representation in classic retro pop and the underrated writing known to Madonna, Tears For Fears, and similar associated breakout 80s darlings.  

Kabelle injects a modern melodic sensibility, as well as proficient electro attention and sonic elegance.  With a strong convincing female lead, the vibe fits in well with Chvches and Paramore.  The synth choices also connect Wonder to the synthwave and retro wave movements, with trademark sounds known to the genre.  Wonder has radio appeal with underground flair.  What sets it apart is inventive writing that’s undeniably pop.  

Hear Wonder now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist.  

Aiko Tomi is dreamy and uplifting on the catchy Fit.  The snappy energetic tempo palette pumps beneath a cascade of shimmering synths and bright leads.  There’s a refreshing appeal to the writing, an inspiring feeling that comes from its nostalgic details and melodic construct.  The sentiment is confirmed in the emphatic outro, as the artist wails passionately in the revealing finale.  That emotion is attributed to the songs lyrical poetry.  The author offers that the song is about “about catching feelings for someone and wondering if you’d be a good fit for each other.”  That anticipation is equally exhilarating and emotionally exhausting, sometimes invading every function of our lives.  “You’ve got me high on these vibrations, will you reward me for my patience?”

Fit is sneaky sexy and seductive.  The excited upbeat nature only adds to the feel good vibe, while the nostalgic appeal offers a sense of musical urgency.  Together they exude a youthfulness, a jovial innocence that conjures cinematic histories and universal relevance. It also plays with your tempered desire, like when she sings “Let’s go some place no one can find us.”  If only your crush would make it so easy.  

Fit has hardcore synthwave appeal, connecting with landmark acts like FM-84 and Dana Jean Phoenix.  It also boasts mainstream credo in the vein of recent works by The Weeknd and Rina Sawayama.  

Dig into Fit now on our Best New Synthwave Playlist


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