Stranger Sounds: 5 Songs for Fans of Stranger Things
The latest hot series Stranger Things is all things 80s: Stephen King, The Clash, big hair, and Mom jeans. The soundtrack by S U R V I V E has become a surprise hit and attracted many a new fan to the weird and wonderful net-based genre of synthwave, a topic of some fascination to me, of which I have written before.
However, for those digging the eerie effects and droning synthetic bass lathered all over Netflix’s most recent hit, here are a few songs that may be for you. Grab the hairspray, jump in the delorean and ready your eyes for a whole lot of gaudy pink neon…
5. College — Save the Day (Feat. Nola Wren)
There’s a confirmed ode to classic horror here: and it’s obvious hearing those creepy, ghostly synths that lie over the whole track. Overall though this is a sweet, warm and cutesy track, that sounds a bit like drizzle on a warm summer afternoon. Nola Wren sings with honesty and a doe-eyed, childlike innocence that rubs well against the dreamy soundscape. It may lack the punch of their classic ‘A Real Hero’ from Drive, but is no less elegant.
4. Mitch Murder — Interceptor
Stockholm’s finest synthwaver is one of the coolest of the lot, and what he does best are mood pieces like this. While it’s totally kitsch, and the (deliberate) haughtiness of the synth crescendos on this one might put people off….well, it’s just awesome basically. The Hammer-Horror piano effects, the radio crackles, huge drum crashes, in the end it’s hard not to be won over by the fact this song sounds like the opening to an Omega Saturn game about the assassination of Robo-Thatcher. The music video is absolutely gorgeous too: Éric Chahi would be proud indeed.
3. Timecop 1983 — Tonight
Hilarious name notwithstanding, the Timecop has been making hot synthwave licks since before you were born. He rides through the international dateline on a neon-tinged light cycle, producing Grade-A 80s throwbacks, none better than ‘Tonight’ which is completely gorgeous. The persistent punchy beat gives the song a bit of pace, but the synth loops and emotive guitar lick leave you feeling gooey inside. A perfect Miami sunset, expressed through the medium of gated reverb.
2. Power Glove — Motorcycle Cop
Taking things away from sweet and sugary and back further towards T-1000’s battling with an army of David Hasselhoffs, Power Glove are from Australia and produce edgy, awesome music befitting of Mad Max himself. Their score for Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon is awesome, but this remains their crowning work. Equal parts cut-and-paste R&B and James Cameron fever dream, this makes you want to go out cruising rough neighbourhoods, glowering at youths from behind a pair of mirrored aviator sunglasses. Get it played!
1. David Hasselhoff — True Survivor
Ah, there he is! Proof if you mention the Hoff too many times by mouth or by finger-stroke he will show up. This may be the greatest thing ever conceived by a human. The video is of course genius, but the music too (courtesy of our pal Mitch, see entry 4) is transcendent to the point of virtually requiring a whole new sensory organ just to interpret it. This is the shit, right here.