Welcome back to another edition of Retrocution! Now that I’m somewhat back on my post-writing game — only took me, oh, half the year — it felt like a good time to take stock of what the synthwave scene’s given us so far in 2019.
If you’re familiar with any of our previous 2019 featurees — AWITW, SelloRekt /LA Dreams, Lost Years or FM Attack — you’ll be well aware there’s been some great synth this year. But of course, there’s far, far more out there than just what we have time to cover in this column. (And thank fuck for that!) So, let’s take a look back at some of those non-Retrocuted albums now. Below the jump are ten of my other favorites from so far this year!
So, I’m not gonna lie: it feels, lately, like the synthwave universe is ganging up and trying to get me back into writing this column by sheer force of will. The release of FM Attack‘s latest full-length, New World, this past Friday marks the second time in the last three weeks that we’ve been graced with drop-everything, appointment listening from an absolute genre heavyweight. And dammit, I did drop everything and make my listening appointment. And now I’m here to tell you about it, because it might be the album to beat in synthwave this year.
It’s been a while since I wrote one of these, despite writing about numerous other things and being on the Nine Circles Audio Thing. Blame grad school – I am stuck in this hellhole to further new opportunities, so I am hoping things pan out. Otherwise, I will be so mad. Luckily, I am free (for now!), so here we are!
Anyway, last time, I discussed gothic metal and my appreciation of the aesthetic as a whole. I consider that genre to be the darker side of symphonic metal; instead of the beautiful fairy queen, you get the belle dame sans merci who will make you suffer for your desires. I also wanted to address something that I thought of before we jump into the next genre – if you think about it, there are more men involved in gothic metal than in symphonic metal. Granted, the genres overlap, but men rarely take the spotlight in symphonic metal. Maybe some of you can tell me why?
Now, we can start talking about a genre that is known to be experimental in nature, albeit not avant-garde (I might write about avant-garde at some point). Given our recent discussion of Empath (see podcast), it’s only fair that we look at how this genre has become a staple in my music listening and how it has expanded my horizons into other bands.
So, by now, it’s probably no surprise to y’all that I have trouble keeping up with writing. A quick glance at the Retrocution archives shows that my last post in this series — and indeed on Nine Circles, period — was way back on March 9. Whoops.
I always like hopping on the Audio Thing. But when it comes to writing, I dunno….working a full-time nursing schedule leaves me just sufficiently brain dead as to be unable to come up with post-length #taeks on the things I’m listening to. Talking’s easy enough, but writing…often requires more time and brain power than I usually find myself with presently.
Still, every now and again, there’s something that compels me to drop everything and put fingers to keyboard. And this past Monday — Memorial Day — just such a thing happened: the release of a new Lost Years album, Venom Part II. This was tremendous, [insert-gif-of-our-pal-Seth-Werkheiser-dropping-his-phone-and-running]-esque news on a couple of different counts.
I don’t know about you, but 2019 started a little thin and then by the first quarter’s end just exploded all over the good linen like a beast. This year, more than most, we’ve been a little behind the ball in getting reviews out, but with a lot of new blood coming in I have a feeling that’s going to change soon. In the meantime we got your quarterly round up right here of all the stuff we wanted to review, should have reviewed, but didn’t.