With the unstoppable force that is mainstream music, many songs are left in the dust and it can oftentimes be frustrating for many fans who feel their favorite artists’ music deserves more recognition. Popular hit songs have rightfully earned their place at the top of everyone’s choice of music, for sure, but it can leave a lot of art falling under the radar.
In today’s Destination Jam playlist, we don’t want any of these masterpieces gathering cobwebs on the proverbial shelf and want to treat you to some gems you may never have heard before. These particular songs are all helmed by some especially creative and enchanting female singers, so check out our top five underrated songs by powerful women in synth-pop music below.
Chromatics – ‘Shadow’
We hit you first off real slow with this dreamy Chromatics track. Add this to your own playlist while enjoying a night’s drive or if you want to disappear into your peaceful senses while relaxing at home, ‘Shadow’ will prove very satisfying.
Over crystalline synth, brittle drums, and a subtle sweep of strings, lead singer Ruth Radelet provides a cinematic narrative yearning for a search to discover its deeper meanings with lyrics like, “And now you’re just a stranger’s dream. I took your picture from the frame. And though you’re nothing like you seem. Your shadow fell like last night’s rain.”
Florence + The Machine – ‘Howl’
Florence + The Machine is often critically tethered to the indie rock genre, but much is left to be seen about their catchy usage of synth sounds. A powerful number by frontwoman Florence Welch and her band, ‘Howl’ cinematically captures the transition from human into a werewolf and the instincts that come with it. Certain elements of this track really shine in portraying the fantasy experience: The repeated line “hunters” is vocalized as if panting and running from hunters (or toward prey), the belted-out “Howl” line in the chorus toward the end is guttural and arresting, and the entire build-up of the song is both threatening and passionate.
‘Howl’ started off being originally about a werewolf and developed into a ditty about extremely passionate love, which was clearly influenced by the gothic horror stories Welch read as a child. Listen to ‘Howl’ here.
Marnie – ‘The Hunter’
Speaking of hunters, what better way to follow-up the previous track than to include Marnie’s track ‘The Hunter’. This track arrived as the debut single for Marnie as a solo artist in 2013 and appeared on her first full-length ‘Crystal World’.
The track opens in a brisk jogging pace and dips into the sounds of new wave. Marnie gently harmonizes the vocals to her own voice, the synth is rich in subtly applied layers and ‘The Hunter’ offers an infectious track that is both relaxing and alluring.
Grimes – ‘So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth’
A synth-pop playlist wouldn’t be complete without the famous Canadian singer-songwriter Grimes. If you’re a lover of escapism music, or ever wanted to feel what it was like to be floating in space, then ‘So Heavy I Fell Through the Earth’ might be what you need. Trickles of sweetened digital notes, the sweeping ambiance of synth, and Grimes sending out echoes of high-pitched whale-like communication in her vocals are just a few of the intriguing elements of this transcendental track.
Chvrches – ‘Clearest Blue’
We close our playlist with a lighter sound. ‘Clearest Blue’ by Scottish band Chvrches was released in 2015 and features on their sophomore album studio album, ‘Every Open Eye’.
‘Clearest Blue’ is typically described as a gradual swell until it ultimately explodes at its melodic climax, but Chvrches member Martin Doherty described it as more of an analytical climax, and that the vocal approach is not intended to be “super climactic, like punch[ing] the air,” but is better described as a “moment of rest.” This song often slips by the attention of new fans to the band, and it certainly should not be missed.
Destination Jam is a daily list of songs that will keep you entertained and grooving up top in lieu of feeling drained and losing the plot. Look out for a fresh selection of great tunes from MEAWW to refresh your mood every day!