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The #1 student news site of Yorba Linda High School

The Wrangler

The Rise in the 80s inspired “Synth Pop”

Ryan Lee Clemens-Vogue
Chappell Roan has such a distinct beautiful style that adds flare to her music and performances.

Although trends resurface in the music industry every few years, something significantly new (or might I say old) has emerged in 2024. Eighties-inspired queer synth pop is the hottest new music trend on the internet. Artists such as Chappell Roan, Conan Gray, and Lorde are examples of this new wave of retro-inspired pop music. Along with these popular artists, queer bands and singers are leading this retro-pop sound in the music industry. Artists like these appeal to teenagers and young adults, resulting in this nostalgic sound appearing more vibrant and lively. What is synth pop, and who paved the way for performers like these to top the billboard charts today?

Synth pop is a subgenre of pop music that uses electronic beats and synthesizers and has upbeat melodies and lyrics. This subgenre of music first appeared in the culture of the 1970s and 80s with iconic bands such as Depeche Mode, New Order, and The Human League. However, as musical tastes shifted in the following decades, the genre faded into the background, overshadowed by other styles like grunge, hip-hop, and indie.

Chappell Roan is a breath of fresh air in the music industry

— Aubrey Esparza 12

Although many would argue what was in the past stays in the past for a reason, teenagers recently have been combating that idea. Avid pop music listener and student, Aubrey, says, “Chappell Roan is a breath of fresh air in the music industry. I am tired of hearing the same sad songs on spotify that go through a neverending cycle of ‘trending’. Chappell’s music is relatable and although it can be a little dark, the beat is always happy and keeps me in a good mood around AP season” (Aubrey Esparza 12). Chappell Roan and other synth pop artists seem to have a certain essence that makes them almost addicting to listen to. Many students believe the recent trend has to do with the warmer change in the weather and wanting to listen to upbeat music because of it. Kailey Dinh says, “Chappell Roan and Lorde remind me of driving to the beach on a hot summer day and screaming at the top of my lungs with my friends” (Kailey Dinh 11).

Chappell Roan, a twenty six year old American Queer identifying pop artist recently surged in popularity due to opening for Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” tour. On TikTok, songs of hers such as “Goodluck Babe,” “Casual,” “HOT TO GO!,” and “Red Wine Supernova” have been on the top 100 trending sounds for an astounding amount of time. Teenagers find joy in synth style music because it is nostalgic and upbeat.

Other artists such as Lorde, Conan Gray, and Charlie XCX have also gained recent popularity due to this 80s inspired pop sound. Lorde, known for her introspective lyrics and dramatic modern sound, has dove into this sound several times throughout her albums with songs such as “Supercut,” “Solar Power,” and “The Love Club.” Conan Gray recently released an album called “Found Heaven,” influenced greatly by 80s synth and queer artists.


As the Synth Pop revival continues to captivate audiences worldwide, queer artists stand at the forefront of this cultural revival. In their music, they find not only support but also strength, unity, and the promise of a world where authenticity stays supreme.


Popular Synth/Queer inspired Pop songs to Listen to in 2024

“Bourgeoisieses” by Conan Gray

“Supercut” by Lorde

“The Less I Know The Better” by Tame Impala

“On Melancholy Hill” by Gorillaz

“Killing Me” by Conan Gray

“After Midnight” by Phoenix and Clairo

“Fire for You” by Cannons

“Runner” by Djo

“Midnight City” by M83

“Hey Kids” by Molina and Late Verlane

“Femininomenon” by Chappell Roan

“Von Dutch” by Charlie XCX

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About the Contributor
Leilah Huttner
Leilah Huttner, Photojournalist
Leilah Huttner is a junior at Yorba Linda High School. This is her 1st year being a part of The Wrangler. Leilah likes to sing, act, hang out with her friends, and listen to music in her free time. She wants to eventually pursue a career in criminal psychology and live by the coast. At YLHS, Leilah is involved in Theatre and has been in the musicals Mamma Mia, Carrie, Urinetown, and Into the Woods. Her all-time favorite color is orange, which is also her favorite fruit. Leilah loves Yorba Linda High School and is excited about what this new year will bring.

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