November 10 2021
Celebrating all things synthesiser, Usagi Sleep puts together a playlist of her favourite synthpop tunes – from Passion Pit to Maika Loubté.
While initially a denomination of the new wave of punk in the late 1970s, these days ‘synthpop’ means much more. Feasibly a bracket that includes anything that combines pop music with the synthesiser as primary instrument, contemporary synthpop supersedes its punk origins – and is now just as much a formative part of electronic and experimental pop.
It is in this latter definition that one might find the music of Usagi Sleep. Usagi’s pop, whether it be comprised of pacey electropop beats, skyward melodies and hooks, or plush background swells, is entirely laid out through synthesisers. Her music, completely written and produced by herself (and featuring her own music videos and artworks) shows just how far a musician can go armed with simply themselves and a Roland, Moog, Korg or Yamaha.
By terms of musical characteristics, Usagi Sleep’s music is upbeat, detailed and technical. As she has started to release more music, her hints at wider influences have grown stronger, revealing affinities for dream pop, exotica and dance music. 2021 has seen four Usagi Sleep singles so far, each different from the last – but always decisively within the realm of synthpop.
Usagi Sleep curated a playlist for the Glow, detailing some of her favourite synthpop tracks. As you’d expect, her definition of the genre is broad, celebrating all things synthesiser. This is what she said about her playlist:
“Here are eight of my favourite synthpop songs that I listened to especially during the pandemic. These are the songs to which I could stay at home, listen to music in my room, sing and dance to them.”
One of my favourite songs! I always dance to the chorus.
Sing Street is one of my favourite films. I love the world of the film: the cute retro colours and the songs’ retro synthesizer sounds.
This isn’t quite synthpop, but it's close. The interlude "AH!" is one of my favourites. Britpop is one of Lovely Summer Chan’s influences, and it's one of my favourite genres too.
This song has a sound that I personally really like. It's got a great catchy twist to it!
I love the lo-fi sound and the worldview that only this era can offer! Queen is one of the artists I admire the most.
He’s an entertaining artist and I like both his music and his performance. I also like the slightly surreal vibe!
It's very catchy and full of playful sounds.
It's simple, synth-driven, with a lovely melody and worldview. The kind of bedroom pop that makes your body dance naturally!
Author: Ed Cunningham
Artist Tags: Usagi Sleep