Stratospheric Synth Pop: Bastille and Beyond

We’re now living in an era in which an alternative band sees a guitar as nothing but
a shiny accessory. Yes, folks, we’ve made it back to the synthpop future (the ’80s, that is). And while the sound has been a big part of this millennium’s musical DNA, from its most ethereal potential to its cheesiest excesses, it’s now officially reached stadium—or, dare we say, stratospheric—status. Artists like Bastille and Chrvches are embracing all the hallmarks of soaring arena rock—slow builds and huge hooks—and taking them on EDM’s thundering path to euphoria via a retro-futuristic rocket. Even modern folk heroes like Mumford & Sons have
tossed aside their mandolins to get in on the fun. What results are glittery and glossy pop anthems, built on synths and samplers, that feel downright galactic. Heck, some artists have even based their whole existence on this celestial idea. See: M83, Empire of the Sun, and Walk the Moon.