While we wait for Fran’s thoughts on 2 Tone, I’m just too excited to delay this week’s genre, synthpop. Adding pop melodies and structure to the earlier, more experimental electronic music, synthpop emerged in the late 1970’s with artists like The Buggles, Gary Numan, and The Human League. Depeche Mode, the most successful electronic band of all time, started out as a synthpop band, but songwriter and synth player Vince Cable left after their first album to have further synth-based success with Yazoo, The Assembly and Erasure. With bands like Visage and Ultravox, synthpop has strong links to the New Romantics movement, which isn’t featured on the music tree (mainly because I don’t like Duran Duran!).
Synthpop was very successful during the 1980’s, but declined towards the end of the decade. However, the genre has gone on to have a huge influence on later music, particularly techno, house, eurodance and trance. Synthpop has had a resurgence in recent years with acts such as La Roux, The Knife, Ladyhawke, Calvin Harris, Delphic, Ladytron and Chromeo.
This fortnight’s album is 1981’s Dare by The Human League.
Each fortnight Fran and Dave explore a new genre from the Music Tree by choosing an album to represent it. We write about the genre or artist during the fortnight, and post our reviews on Sunday. Want to join the musical adventure? Listen along with our Spotify playlist, and subscribe by clicking the link in the sidebar to get an email every time there’s a new post.