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Retro Reverb Records August 2020 Synth Charts Top 3 Tracks

Updated on September 7, 2020
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Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.

First Place: Honey Beard - Black Skies

Honeybeard’s song Black Skies is a track that combines dark, ghostly lyrics and vocals with an energetic heartbeat of bass and drums along with chiming, shimmering synth arpeggios. There’s a bleak feeling to the words of the song and the vocal melody is haunting and drifting.

This song’s haunted nature contrasts well with the winding and whirling synth melody that calls out over the endlessly pulsing drums and bass that hold the beat steady. The lyrics have a feeling of loss and a sense of anomie about them. The way the vocals are layered adds more fullness to the track.

The way flashes of light cut through the darkness of the underlying message adds a good balance to the track. It has energy to it that tempers the melancholy of the words and their delivery. I like how those contrasts manage to add a punch to the song that heightens the darkness of the words.

Second Place: When We Believed - The Introverts

When We Believed’s The Introverts is an anthem for those of us who are on the introverted side. It opens on a classic retro-style beat with rising, bright synths joined by an easy moving arpeggio played on a piano like synth that revolves above the driving beat. The vocals here are strong and full of expression with a real ‘80s synth pop feeling. The guitar line has a shine to it as the notes flicker out through the throbbing beat and under those emotion-laden vocals.

This song has an uplifting message for those of us who are introverts. It says that even if we’re quiet, we still have contributions to make and that we should embrace ourselves and accept our positive qualities. This is a track that has drive and glow to it with a really fun, nostalgic feeling to it. It hits the right balance between words and music.

Third Place: Neon Deflector - Artifact

Neon Deflector’s track Artifact opens on a flickering of darkness-tinged synth sound which is soon joined by a deep drift of bass. The weight of the bass flows under spaced out synth sounds that float through along with a distant vocal sample. Now the dark bass begins to throb and oscillate as a gentle, bright synth plays a wandering melody. The drums match the pulse of the bass and the piano-esque lead synth plays a delicate line that gently brushes over the ears.

Rising synth chords flow out over the pulse underneath them as shivers of darker sound touch the music. The drums and bass support the other elements of the track up and carry them along. There is the quality of open space in this track as that melody sinuously winds through it. This is a track that combines contrasting elements and allows them all to flow together into a cohesive whole.

© 2020 Karl Magi


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