Being in television/film production is a killer job but knowing you can look forward to laying some beats and notes on your synth on the weekends makes me feel all whole again, like a full bottle of jelly.

I’m not sure why but I’m such a crackhead for synth, New Wave or Dream Pop music thoug but if it’s got hints of Kraftwerk, Yazoo, Depeche Mode melody and bass to it or a Smiths, ABC, Tears for Fears, Human League beat, then I’m hooked.

With the recent revival of 80s tinged music in the indie music scene, I feel like I’m digging music again and that’s a good sign given that DIY music is so much more interesting than the manufactured ones.

Personally, I’ve left behind the so-called pop world behind me because it’s not worth 2 cents of my music budget or a minute of my downloading life, for it is only once in an armageddon moon that a truly good talent like Adele or La Roux comes along with a decent tune and a good helping of talent to change people’s perspectives.

So if you’re one of those looking for good New Wave, synth based bands to start snapping your fingers and bopping your head to, I recommend the bands below that you should check out and give a listen to.

They will turn the tables on your musical landscape.


There’s nothing washed out about Washed Out. Washed Out is the stage name of the American chill-wave musician Ernest Greene.This is an old one from 2009 from the EP High Times but the band is still gloriously around, nestled nicely@SubPop Records with a new album release, Within and Without. Listening to their music makes you feel like you’re in a supersized conch on a beach being washed over by rolling, gentle lullaby crooning waves. The production mixes of the song are so fleshy like that of 80s band Double.

Find out more about Ernest and Washed Out here.



I have nothing but globfuls of praise for Twin Shadow, a band fronted really by the charming and Freddy Mercury looking George Lewis Jr. The bands new release Forget is a journey into the romantic world of George, full of tender moments and oh-so-eargasmic tunes. The album, produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear, is a gem. There’s nothing else to say. Just sit back and let Twin Shadow take the wheel.

Find out more about Twin Shadow here.



Like Washed Out and Twin Shadow, StewRat is the stage name of Ryan Stewart. StewRat is a play on his last name. Though StewRat’s relatively a new kid on the block don’t be surprised if he gets blown out of proportion, and rightly so, in a year or two in the dance club scene. This guy is the next DJ Shadow and his music will turn your R&B world upside down. This is clever, witty fun sampling on the decks as if he was lounging around with Barry White, Imagination, Shalamar, Commodores and the Doobie Brothers on a hot summer afternoon at a penthouse suite. StewRat isn’t afraid to fuse so many genres of music that it all becomes nothing but a sheer R&R symphony for the ears. I just made friends with him on Facebook and I recommend his music highly. Bliss! It just brings me back to the good ole dance soul music of the 80s.

Explore StewRat’s music here.



Hailing from Stockton, California – a crappy, nowhere town on the world map, this bedroom pop band has done what no one else bothered doing in their place of residence and that is to make dreamy, romantic music with catchy hooks. Not bad for a small-town band. After the release of an EP not too long ago, they have finally released a brilliant debut album entitled Idle Labour featuring te single ‘After the Moment’. Sounding like early Cut Copy material, Craft Spells music is a great soundtrack for that cozy, getaway made for two.

Find out more about Craft Spells here.



CLAPS is a minimal synthpop trio from Minneapolis, USA. Recent EP New Science follows on from the earlier No Party EP – both are on Spotify and both are definitely worth checking out. With touch points such as Depeche Mode, Villa Nah and White Lies, CLAPS are another great example of the darker minimal synthpop sub-genre that seems to be growing in popularity in America.

And hey, I’m a sucker for anything synth which means CLAPS is on heavy rotation on my iPod. You can absorb more about them here.



Taking their cue from Depeche Mode and Ladytron, this chill disco band are a synth duo from London, but with an electropop vibe more reminiscent of the new wave of Amercian indie synth bands. Their new Oak EP just went up on Spotify (or you can download it for free here).  It’s a real freeze of an EP as haunting vocals layer the whole ice-laden journey of this album that grows on you after a couple of listens. Just remember to wear a nice, warm coat when listening though.



Neon Indian is a band with their footprints entrenched firmly in Denton, Texas. Alan Palomo does the writing and composing. He is also known for his work with the band Ghosthustler and as the artist VEGA. The band began to garner attention in 2009 after several of their songs which had been posted online were favorably reviewed by music blogs and Web sites. On October 13, 2009, the group released its debut LP Psychic Chasms. But the charm of their music is their fearlessness in experimenting with backdated keyboard equipment. You know the stuff that Peter Gabriel used in his first few albums. Listening to ‘Mind Drips’ really takes you back to some of Peter’s earlier chunky bass funk work. If you listen closely, there’s even a hint of one of his hits, the Native American inspired San Jacinto. All I can say is I likey!



If Hall and Oates were making music today, they would be sounding a lot like this California-based band, Foster the People. Er…and what MGMT’s second album should’ve been like. Already gaining lots of attention from the popular masses, this is one of the few bands worth listening to on the Billboard Charts today. The album Torches released by Sony Music is well worth the listen. It’s melodic, catchy and just happy tunes to literally whistle and side-step to. It’s what all good pop tunes should be which is what a lot of artistes today are forgetting as they slap the music listening population with half-baked, half-thought out ditties that don’t do anything for the ear or the heart.

More on Foster the People here.


About thejellyfarm

In real life, I am a television writer and producer...er no...scratch...a television director....noo, scratch....a media loser.....wait, that doesn't sound quite insulting enough....... OK, ahem. In real life, I'm an idiot box expert with a penchant for the creative. In short, I'm a loser with no focus or direction in life. I just go where the creative flow takes me. Mostly it takes me to clogged up drains and stinky oceans but it's going.......going.....somewhere. And this blog is an expression of that mindblowing roadblock. Creative frustration is a great motivator and here is a result of that.

Posted on August 7, 2011, in Entertainment (Music/TV/Films), Music and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Who are all these people?

  2. Thank for turning me on to Claps. Great stuff.

  3. mmm, Wild Nothing, M83, Conduits, Beach House….

  1. Pingback: 132. BEST 80s DREAMPOP BANDS TODAY « | The 80's

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