Synthwave is getting more and more popular these days and I’m a huge fan of this music style.For those who don’t know what synthwave is. Basically it’s electronic music that is influenced by the 198o’s film soundtracks and video game music. This was tough to narrow down because there are so many good ones. But I thought it would be fun to take on this challenge of curating to the top 10. I’ve seen a lot of great album covers and I wanted to share with you my top 10 badass synthwave album covers.
How I rated them was by how gritty, detailed and overall badass they look. I didn’t rate them by their music, only the album cover, and these are just my personal opinions, so just keep that in mind. If you have a favorite let me know in the comments.
Dance With The Dead: Out of Body
This was a tough one to choose because their other album covers are also pretty gritty and inspiring. I chose this album cover because I just love the composition, the typography with the barcode below it looks pretty cool, reminding me of cassette tapes. This is a solid art piece.
Confrontational: A Dance With Shadows
This reminds me of The Evil Dead. The cross, rocky horizon masking the identity of the subject gives this overall piece an eerie, mysterious feel. And I love how minimal this whole piece is.
Waveshaper: Hardware Passion
So you can probably tell by now that I’m really into minimal art style. I love this piece with the black border around it forcing the focus in this perspective. It makes me wonder what this thing is glaring at and the multi colors is wonderful.
Daniel Deluxe: Corruptor
This is a bit similar to the previous album cover except there’s a lot more going on in the piece. The horned, red-eyed person, what I can only assume is the “Corruptor” looms over the city and looks like it’s ready to corrupt the city of wherever it is at. The red vertical beam looks like it came down from the skies, or below it. Very cool piece, so badass!
This comic book style cover reminds me of heavy metal album covers, with the cross and skull. The aggressiveness of the drawn lines on what appears to be ice, and the line details on the jacket, cross and everything give this cover a badass feel to it!
Perturbator: Dangerous Days
This is one sexy, eye-catching, badass looking synthwave album cover. It looks like a mixture of ink sketching with digital painting mixed together. It looks like comic book art and the sketchy ink gives movement to the piece. Art by Ariel Zucker-Brull.
Dan Terminus: The Wrath of Code
There’s usually a pattern to the synthwave album covers that I’m use to seeing. It’s usually a dark theme piece with neon purple and blue colors. This one for Dan Terminus: The Wrath of Code does not fit the template for synthwave album covers, and that’s a good thing! This is unique and has a resemblance of Frank R. Paul’s science fiction art style.
Meteor: Inner Demon
A right in your face album cover. There’s multiple layers to this piece. The outer frame with the warm, orange gradient colors stand out, possibly deliberately. Behind it is the souless man’s face deconstructing showing a skull behind it. Then there’s the dark space behind the man that adds to the mystery. I thought of the movie Total Recall in the scene where Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the airport and takes off the mask, the way the mask opens looks just like this piece here.
Phaserland: Electric Atlantic
This is a simple piece with lots of detail, you just have to inspect it a bit longer. It’s got 80’s style typography, diagonal lines that all point to the same direction and giving movement to the piece, and minimal range of colors used.
Android Automatic: Mojave
I love when I see an art piece that tells a story just by looking at it. The way the the car is stopped looked like she was driving really fast and stopped as soon as she saw the payphone. Who is she calling this late at night? Is she in trouble? Perhaps she’s running away from someone? I love the color palette, it’s very synthwave like, but that yellow with the headlights in the middle of this album cover just adds more punch to it overall.
There you have, those are my top 10 synthwave album covers that I personally find the most interesting and badass to look at. The art styles that I’ve chosen also have ranged from 80’s film horror, comic books, heavy metal bands, to sci-fi cover styles. Is there a favorite not listed here? Do you agree/disagree? Let me know in the comments below.