Although there have been several attempts to revive the style of music, the pure form of a new wave has remained.
Retro pop is a subgenre of pop music which emerged in the early 1990s but approach the 80s and 70s too.
Now, there is a fresh sound and upbeat tunes in all kinds of pop music. But the good news is that the retro sound is being produced and appreciated by a lot of new names in the industry, making a comeback on the independent music scene.
Retro pop is one of the most popular music genres nowadays and it brings you back to old classic hits you heard on the radio as a teenager and even in your childhood.
They say “it’s better late than never.” Well in the case of independent artists, I believe it’s better late than never to give these new, young and fresh artists the attention they well deserved. In this era where the major label recording industry is passing out, it’s a great time to give these independent artists some attention and support.
The renewed interest in this type of music might be due to its ability to make people feel nostalgic about their past or just enjoy how upbeat it sounds. So, if you’re looking for beautiful melodies and energetic rhythms, don’t hesitate to listen to this playlist!
You can listen to the artists below individually, or click the button to check out our complete playlist Retro Pop Comeback by PopHits.News.
1 – AMANDA MCBRAYER – Too Bad!
Amanda McBrayer‘s vocals are so smooth I’d like to put them on ice cream. McBrayer’s one-woman band, in addition to being a catchy title for a personal blog, takes the indie/pop world by storm with her new single “Too Bad!”.
The track reminds me of a sweet-tasting song that could have been crafted in the 90s – but only if the 90’s were filled with today’s technology for mixing music.
Still, the track has that super cool retro vibe which would make it perfect for the club parties of the 80s, or even with a Remix of something like a Lilith Fair throwback concert. In fact, this track reminds me of an indie commercial pop song that could become mainstream pop at a moment’s notice with its easily likeable lyrics and upbeat nature.
It has to be said I did like this track immediately after listening to it for the first time for 33 seconds, and I realized it was incredibly catchy with a sense of euphoria and energy that made me interested in listening to it for more than 333 times. Yeah, I loved her voice!
2 – RICH ANTONY – Don’t Look Back
Rich Antony is an indie-pop artist from the US, and his references came from there, disco times. His new single Don’t Look Back has a nice synth sound.
The song opens with a synth bassline that you’ll definitely notice right away. The lyrics are lighthearted and simple while the mix of vocals and synthetics is layered just right. A pop tune with a melody you’ll be singing along to after just hearing it once (if you aren’t already). A catchy tune that doesn’t hurt your ears.
It’s upbeat with a very soft chorus that is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. The song also features some impressive harmonizing towards the end of the song as well as some light guitar work which gives it a slight 80s vibe. This is definitely one you’ll want to add to any Retro Pop playlist you have!
Don’t forget to follow the artist on Spotify.
3 – MAX EDWARDS – Blame Me
It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2022, can you believe it?
There have been many great synthpop/indie dance albums released this year. But one that especially caught my ear was Blame Me by artist MAX EDWARDS. It is a nostalgic track that has the classic indie-pop sound of the early 1990s. The beat is catchy and upbeat and the chorus is quite memorable.
The lyrics aren’t complex, but the fact that it still reminds you of something new makes it even better, as for an old-fashioned radio hit from the 1990s.
The hit-style song would fit in perfectly on 90’s radio stations for romantic moments if they still existed, but it sounds modern, making it perfect for contemporary DJs and remix artists to add their own spin to it.
Take a listen to this track, which, in my opinion, could be the next retro-pop hit on the radio and the internet, TikTok and everywhere, not to mention the great vocals. Perfect!
4 – BEKIM! – Next To Me
I had never heard of Berkim before, but the way his production sounded reminded me of Quinn XCII from “Coffee” or Boyz II Men songs (read: talented). It’s got that retro-pop flavour on top of hip-hop, R&B and an 80s vibe. In my opinion, it’s a winning formula.
The vocals weren’t too low or high; instead, they partnered perfectly with the groovy bass to keep the song rolling. If you need a song to relax or reflect on, this might be the one!
Have you ever been told, “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life?” That’s the magic of Next To Me. It captures the feeling of first love, friendship, or meeting someone who feels like family.
Make sure you listen to this track with good earphones and follow the artist on Spotify.
5 – RED SKIES MOURNING – Where You Been?
I had the privilege of reviewing the track Where You Been? by RED SKIES MOURNING.
With the staying power of upbeat and energetic melodies, Red Skies Mourning has kept a high-quality level amidst their other singles. They never fail to provide steady rhythms and melodies that are thunderous without any unnecessary booming impact.
I confess I am in love with “Deep Moonlight but let’s take “Where You Been?” for example; the steady rhythm in it alone offers enough pop to have you bobbing your head along to its infectious cadence. The entire track is playful with an airy tone that’s more than enjoyable enough to listen to.
With contemporary influences like Haerts, this tune has an 80s pop feel. The vocals are performed well, and they have an indie pop/alternative feel, which makes them perfect for a retro-pop playlist. It is my recommendation that you listen to all tracks as they are really good, and follow the artist on Spotify.
6 – GLOOMY JUNE – Always Gonna Let You Down
Gloomy June is a new band I listened to and wanted to share the music with you. I can say they are a cool new indie rock band based in California, US.
The track “Always Gonna Let You Down” featuring The Y Axes band was catchy. The song made me feel nostalgic and had a great 80’s vibe, but with a modern indie rock element mixed in too. In my opinion, the vocals were sweet and remind me of some very nice bands like Ellevator or a soft style such as Ally Cribb. I believe that if this band starts touring more, they will become really popular.
Their indie label should actually get them involved so they can go on tour with some young bands right now that are doing well. They would definitely benefit from it.
Don’t get killed by curiosity, hit play, watch the music video and follow the band on Spotify.
7 – TOM TIKKA & THE MISSING HUBCAPS – Better Man
This is a review of the new album Better Man by TOM TIKKA & THE MISSING HUBCAPS, a remarkably talented artist from Scandinavia, whose incredible indie tracks are so hot they’re ready to take over the world.
Tom has a magical way of creating songs that are contagious, dark, fairly melancholic, yet extremely catchy.
There’s no point in mentioning my favourite track here, as I truly enjoyed all of them, I can say that many of the Better Man album’s tracks are radio-ready songs. I would define the album genre as pop-rock or indie pop with elements of surf rock, but that’s an oversimplification since there’s always more going on with them.
The songwriting is clever and there’s never a dull moment – even in their slowest songs it’s always rocking and exciting.
There is actually just a handful of days before the album is set to be released, so make sure to pre-save the album Better Man and follow the artist on Spotify, also check out his music video for The Holy Grail Of Truth.
8 – GREG BOUNCE – Thank U + New EP ‘Frango Magic’
Are you looking for some new music? Are you tired of hearing the same tripe over and over again? I know what you mean. It’s as if the entire internet has merged into one sound or something crazy like that. Thankfully, there are still some truly independent artists who make their own music. These talented people actually care about what they’re putting out there, and it shows.
Here we go!
Thank U is track number 5 off of Greg Bounces‘ EP “Frango Magic”, which is also the name of the artist’s project. My ears just can’t stop listening to him, what a voice, it’s funny, but it made me feel younger, obviously last to the time-travelling that all these songs made me do.
Greg Bounce always brings us a light-hearted listen with his music. His sound is reminiscent of chillwave with its dreamy, spacious production and synth-heavy sounds.
A nice touch is the electronic pop elements with drums in the background and booming soundscapes, mostly in Fear That Love, especially during the pre-chorus.
I totally recommend, for real, don’t forget to follow the artist on Spotify.
9 – JOHN LESLIE HULCOMBE – Sanctuary
I would like to introduce you to Sanctuary, a song by John Leslie Hucombe. The song was recently released, and I consider it to be quite an excellent piece of music.
The track has an indie pop-rock feel to it. I love the way his voice is mixed into the music, it sounds unique and original. There’s one point in the track where you feel it is a bit dramatic but it sounds good for being independent and having the freedom to play around with such particular vocal style, etc.
The track feels like a mix between psychedelic rock and blues-rock music – it’s dreamy and soft, but addicting at the same time.
If you love indie rock songs with a dreamy, nordic feel, then John Leslie Hucombe’s latest track Sanctuary is for you. His unique voice combined with his guitar and piano makes for a memorable song that will get stuck in your head.
We encourage you to listen, enjoy, and follow the artists on Spotify to show your support.
10 – MY BABY – Sake Sake Sake
The album Sake Sake Sake by My Baby is a work of art that is packed with so many wonderful tracks. The entire album oozes with joy and pleasure, which is rare in music these days.
My favourite part about “Sake Sake Sake”‘s songs is that they are accessible to all audiences – from the more experimental art-pop tracks to the super catchy retro-pop “A Dream I Dream” and the upbeat synth-pop “Stupid”.
With such a variety of songs, you can’t go wrong with listening to this album. It’s full of so many wonderful elements that it will keep you listening for hours on end. As far as I can tell, it’s true art turned into digital music. In my opinion, that kind of sound is very well suited to EDM beats and anthemic features.
The album is thirteen songs, and don’t beat me, but I’m gonna include the whole thing on our playlist. This is a killer sound. The only song I left behind was “Everybody Scream” due to the tempo. It breaks our playlist, but I leave you with the strange beautiful voice division of it so you can appreciate it too.
I’ll be listening to it all weekend long since I’m really taken by the vocal. Good bless the independent music industry so that we can get to know such awesome talent like this one. In a way, it feels retro while at the same time saying: Welcome to the digital era, this is art, digital music juice babe!
Having come from Amsterdam, they have a very satisfying sound, and their music has a trippy factor, which is very pleasant to me.
Give me that favour, watch the music video below, check the bonus video of an amazing live performance, and follow the band on Spotify. You can now put the entire album on your retro pop playlist, as I did and become a fan.