Tense but catchy '80s-esque synth-pop
August 31, 2013 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Help me discover more music with that semi-creepy, edgy, yet also catchy and melodic (i.e. not too experimental) quality of certain '80s pop/new wave/prog artists. Looking for kind of the same feel of "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" by Genesis or "What I See" by Planet P Project (and props to MeFi for pointing me at the latter). Instrumentals OK, but again, must be catchy.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

Einstein A Go Go is catchy like ebola.
posted by scruss at 6:02 AM on August 31, 2013

Best answer: Ultravox, Mr. X.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:06 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe some Rupert Hine?
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 6:20 AM on August 31, 2013

I take it you're aware of Berlin.

Murray Head, One Night in Bangkok.

Real Life, Send Me an Angel.

Trolling the youtube sidebar generated from viewing a lot of these links will likely be productive.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:28 AM on August 31, 2013

The Cars: Candy-O
Grace Jones: Nightclubbing
posted by davebush at 6:30 AM on August 31, 2013

You mention "tonight tonight tonight", but that's fairly tame for Genesis-being-creepy from the 80's - so just in case you're unaware with some of their earlier oeuvre - check out "Mama" from the "shapes" album (the one with the yellow plastic toys on it) or "Man On The Corner" from "abacab".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Maybe not obscure enough, but Somebody's Watchin' Me and The Ghost In You were the first ones to come to mind.
posted by pravit at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2013

Shriekback had some rather interesting atmospheric minor-key songs mixed in with their upbeat synth-funk stuff.

"This Big Hush" "Faded Flowers" and "Coelocanth" from the 1985 album "Oil & Gold" really stand out.
posted by ovvl at 8:46 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Ok, it's 1979, but I feel like the synthesizer paranoia of Cars, by Gary Numan might do the trick ("Here in my car, I feel safest of all, I can lock all my doors..").
posted by *s at 9:05 AM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

New Order is mostly known for their upbeat, happier-sounding stuff, but their first album Movement is much darker and more tense than their later stuff.
posted by Rykey at 11:18 AM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Following up on Devils Rancher's (excellent) recommendation of Ultravox's Mr. X, I would suggest Ultravox in general is likely to be right up your alley, especially their last album with John Foxx, Systems of Romance (The Quiet Men, Just for a Moment) and their first two with Midge Ure: Vienna (Mr. X, Vienna, Passing Strangers) and Rage in Eden ( The Thin Wall, The Voice, Rage in Eden).

Visage, Fade to Grey and The Damned Don't Cry (Visage also included Midge Ure and fellow Ultravox bandmate, Billy Currie)

Gary Numan's "Machine" albums: Replicas (Are 'Friends' Electric?, Down in the Park -- I first saw this video late one night when I was about 11 or 12, and it simultaneously terrified me and blew my mind); The Pleasure Principle (Cars, Metal), and Telekon (This Wreckage, Remember I Was Vapour)
posted by scody at 12:03 PM on August 31, 2013

Oh, and for ridiculously catchy: Split Enz, I Got You
posted by scody at 12:05 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Shriekback, "Nemesis"
posted by nicwolff at 2:55 PM on August 31, 2013

This may be a useful resource: what are your favorite obscure creepy 80s songs?
posted by Nomyte at 3:28 PM on August 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

In case you don't already know about it, Planet P ( alias Tony Carey) has another creepy song called Why Me that is not to be missed.

Also, the aforementioned John Foxx has a creepy solo song with video called Underpass.

( Tony Carey's solo song Fine Fine Day is not especially creepy, but everyone should listen to it anyway.)
posted by wittgenstein at 5:36 PM on August 31, 2013

Another one - Siouxsie and the Banshees Spellbound.
posted by wittgenstein at 5:54 PM on August 31, 2013

The The, "The Sinking Feeling"
posted by Red Loop at 8:47 PM on August 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Strangelove by Depeche Mode definitely fits this description, especially around 1:07.
posted by aquanet at 11:15 PM on August 31, 2013

Huge swathes of OMD should fit the bill admirably in relation to what you described. Pretty much anything off the first 4 albums should do the job. Here's a wee taster for you: Motion and Heart, which originally featured (in a slightly different version) on their second album, Organisation.
posted by Chairboy at 9:55 AM on September 1, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everybody--I had a hunch MeFi would not disappoint :)
Already getting pretty into Ultravox and Shriekback, neither of which I was familiar with by name until now.
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 6:29 AM on September 2, 2013

Young Marble Giants.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:03 PM on September 3, 2013

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