10 Artists That Prove 80s Synth Is Back (And Better Than Ever)

I think we can all agree that the 1980s were one heck of a time to be alive. From neon spandex and teased hair to caked on blue eyeshadow with red lips, 1980s culture surrounded so many awesome things including the birth of some straight up incredible music. Ask any music lover that lived through the 80s, they’ll do nothing but reminisce happily on their glory days of jamming to Wham! and belting their hearts out to “Tainted Love”.

Eighties synth continues to be an integral part in modern music and we should feel #blessed that we have bands that are helping bring it back with full force. Here are 10 artist who are living proof that 80s synth is 100% still in style:


From first listen, you just know that indie pop band LANY are on a mission to bring 80s synth back. Model turned lead singer Paul Jason Klein leads this band with his dreamy voice that is backed by insanely unique synth sounds. Listen to their song “4EVER!” that without a doubt could be a smash hit straight out of 1986.

2. Sky Ferreira

Sky Ferreira is not just breaking boundaries with her style and aesthetic, but she is also bringing 80s sounds back. Both of her hit songs “Everything is Embarrassing” and “I Blame Myself” are modern alt pop anthems with swirls of 80s synth (She is mega inspired by Michael Jackson). Backed by Sky’s killer vocals and rebellious finesse, she’s proving 80s synth is back and here to stay.

3. Shy Girls

So, Shy Girls is actually a group of guys, but regardless of who makes up the killer band that has opened for bands like our fave girl group HAIM, their ability to lace 80s synth into their tunes is completely sick. Check out songs like “Second Heartbeat” to get a taste of their 80s throwback sound.


BØRNS‘s return to 80s synth has served him more than well since the launch of his career. After rising to fame with just one EP, BØRNS has helped bring 80s synth back to modern alt pop music with ease (TSwift even vocalized on Twitter how much of a fan she is). From his hit “Electric Love” to new tunes like “Past Lives” off his upcoming album Dopamine, his undeniable ability to incorporate 80s synth sounds with new heavenly vibes is YAAAAS.

5. Bleachers

Jack Antonoff’s solo project, Bleachers is completely inspired by the 1980s. He has even noted John Hughes movies as a source  of inspiration for his tunes (We’re obsessed already). It was unmistakable from his first single “I Wanna Get Better” that he intends to bring elements of 80s synth hits back and we’re stoked about it.

6. Speak

Originally from Austin, TX, the live music capitol of the world, Speak‘s entire sound is centered on core elements from 80s synth pop and it works wonders. Songs like “Gates” mix all the right things and deliver a sound that highlights 80s synth their own with indie rock twists.

7. The Wombats

UK band The Wombats are an awesome mix of alternative synth dance rock with major 80s inspiration sprinkled throughout. From their earlier tracks like 2010’s “Techno Fan” to “Headspace” off their new album, 80s synth is driving their style and helps them to push the envelope. Their tunes will make you feel like you’re living in your parent’s college years, and it’s awesome.

8. The Colourist

The Colourist‘s guitar driven approach to synth pop is the epitome of the new restoration of 80s synth. Their catchy hooks and jam worthy sounds shine bright in songs like “Time Waster” off their new EP Will You Wait For Me. You’ll be flashing back to the 1980s in no time.

9. St. Lucia

Whimsical and dreamy, St. Lucia‘s tunes are a glamorous, shimmery version of the return of 80s synth. We promise that songs like “Elevate” and “All Eyes On You” will have you in love with his sound from first listen. A solo artist with a promising future, St. Lucia’s style is just what we need to keep 80s synth alive.

10. Smallpools

Energetic, youthful, and fun, Smallpools are a group that is no doubt adding life to 80s synth sounds in their own unique way. Smash hits “Dreaming” and “Killer Whales” are creatively arranged to prove that 80s synth is relevant and imperative to where modern pop music is headed.

Caterina Nasr

Editorial Contributor, University of Texas at Austin Major: Radio-Television-Film Her heart belongs to: British rock bands, pugs, Wes Anderson movies, and guacamole. You can find her: listening/profusely belting her lungs out to music that moves her soul, drinking jugs of San Pellegrino, or at the fiercely battling to get front row barricade at a concert.

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