Synthwave and cyberpunk often go hand-in-hand, or at least that’s the prevailing narrative, but I’ll be completely honest: I’m getting a little tired of the drab, dark, foreboding aesthetic of neon lights in rain soaked cities filled with technological marvels and atrocities, etc. Now I don’t mean to shame anyone with such an open admission of my own preferences, or how others use music as their own personal escape in turn, but I’ve been finding it increasingly difficult to listen to the cyberpunk subgenre of synthwave due to the fact that reality feels more cyberpunk than ever. I dunno, it’s just been hard for me to “escape” when the line is blurred between worlds; I can’t say I’m excited at all for Cyberpunk 2077 either.
So, what have I been listening to as of late? Well, if the “cyberpunk” subgenre of synthwave is its science-fiction then the subgenre known as “fantasynth” would be, as its name suggests, one that delves into the realm of fantasy. I know it could also be mispronounced as something to do with Fanta, the soda, but I’ll leave such a concoction up to a certain Twitter account. In any case, I can’t take the credit on the name “fantasynth.” In fact I only recently became aware of its existence through the tags at the bottom of the Bandcamp page for one of my absolute favorite synthwave artists: Paladin. If that name sounds at all familiar to visitors of this site, well, that’s because I’ve talked about them a bit before.
To which I’ll now talk about them some more…Continue reading