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By Anna Medvedeva


Hello, wavy friends! Today we will be taking a look at Synthwave, a genre closely related to Vaporwave. Synthwave (or Outrun) is a style of electronic music influenced by '80s culture, movies, albums, artists and video games. The genre itself was born in the 2000s, but gained a large amount popularity in the 2010s. There are a variety of Synthwave subgenres: dreamwave, scifiwave, darkwave, etc. Here’s our list of ten Synthwave albums guaranteed to transport you to another dimension.

10) Isidor - 3218

This is one really magnificent album that creates a unique atmosphere for the listener and features out-of-this-world vibes. The EP's opening song is called "Star Sheriff" and is one of the most tremendous intros ever. It takes you on a futuristic, melodic journey and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. Isidor is fairly new to the Synthwave scene and is definitely becoming a rising star in the genre.


9) Droid Bishop - End of Aquarius

DB is a well-known and beloved artist in the outrun community and his albums never disappoint. The songs feature 80s vibes juxtaposed against a uniquely futuristic soundscape, and the end result is rich, solid Synthwave magic. The album is well-produced and features some amazing bass, making it an instant Synthwave classic.


8) Lost Years - Venom

This album is absolute Synthwave heaven. The intricate sounds are reminiscent of an evening walk in the summertime. The album was released by the label Rosso Corsa Records in 2016 and has quickly become a fan favorite. "Venom" is certainly a welcome addition to the Lost Years collection and we’re looking forward to more smooth, retro EP’s in the months to come.


7) Meteor - Parallel Lives

As Meteor explains, this entire album is a compilation of stories told through songs. These stories coexist together in a singular dimension but feature the stories of people living parallel lives. Everything about this album screams '80s nostalgia - the cover art, the guitar riffs the synthesizer sounds. The songs consist of electronic guitar riffs, pounding beats, and retro rythym blended together seamlessly. "Parallel lives" is a never-ending trip to a future in which we all belong.


6) Night Runner - Thunderbird

An Outrun album with equal parts rock and pop, created with love and respect for the retrowave movement. A lighter addition to your Synthwave collection, this EP  is tremendously '80s in every respect. The sax, the guitar, the synth beats...the tracks feel so unpredictable yet so whole. It definitely deserves all the attention it’s been receiving and will act as a welcome addition to the genre.


5) Lazerhawk - Dreamrider

This album features a retro, lo-fi feel that is unquestionably dreamy. It has some vaporwave notes in it, which makes it all the more sedative and intriguing to the listener. Lazerhawk is one of the founders of the Retrowave scene and continues to evolve with every album he creates. This is one soothing, beautiful album that deserves to be heard.


4) Carpenter Brut - Leather Teeth

Carpenter Brut really is a  one-of-a-kind artist, and his albums stand out with their dark, metal elements. The combination of the raw, dark vibes with the stylish synthwave sounds is unique and sounds amazingly well-crafted. Carpenter Brut is one of the darksynth artists that define the subgenre. The songs on this album are actually a little lighter than his usual tracks and the synthwave stands out a bit more.


3) The Midnight - Nocturnal

Another album crafted so brilliantly with a stunning combination of retro vocals, sax and synth sounds. This album transports you to sheer cyberpunk heaven and features beautiful, fitting cover art. The vibes are smooth and refined and feature some of the most beautiful vocals of any Synthwave album. It’s well-produced and filled to the brim with raw emotion.


2) FM-84 - Atlas

Synthwave at it's purest, this album truly is a melodic time machine. The sounds transport you to a blissful '80s reality, and actually acted as an introduction to the Outrun genre for many listeners. This album took the community by storm and quickly rose to the top of the Synth/electronic music charts . It is innovative, imaginative, and already considered a timeless classic within the genre.


1) Dance with the Dead - The Shape

This album is a perfect fusion of metal and synthwave, and features sounds from a variety of synthwave subgenres. It combines synthwave, horror synth, rock, pop, and metal. It’s a perfect example of modern cyberpunk and outrun and the many musical styles that it can combine. The end result is beautifully haunting and massive. This album certainly took risks in its combination of so many vibes and genres, but the end result pays off in a remarkable way.