The Best Synthpop Bands & Artists

Over 3.3K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Synthpop Bands & Artists
Voting Rules
Synthpop bands and artists only.

Over the past few decades, synthpop has become known as one of the most quirky and fun genres of pop music. Originating in the 1960s, synthpop bands started popping up as more new wave, Krautrock, progressive rock, and art rock bands started incorporating synthesizers into their sound; and, of course, synthpop is an offshoot of this blend. Synthesizer-based sounds caught on with audiences, and with their abundance of and reliance on electronic instruments, they only continued to create some of the most interesting new sounds across music. At the beginning of the 2000s, synthpop reemerged as a powerful genre that coincided with the electronic music boom (and it has yet to subside).

So, what are the best synthpop bands and synthpop artists of all time? Any list of synthpop groups, duos, or singers has to include the names Depeche Mode, Devo, Kraftwerk, Passion Pit and M83 on it. From older synthpop bands to the newest generation of musicians, these artists still remain some of the most recognizable bands in the genre. Between their biggest hits, studio LP sales, and sold out live shows, one could say that synthpop bands have reached their greatest popularity since the 1980s. 

That said, it's up to you to vote for the top synthpop artists of the past few decades. This list answers the questions "who are the best synthpop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest synthpop musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the bands' music (albums and songs) instead of just voting for the most popular, famous, or modern synthpop musicians that you might've heard of. 

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  • Depeche Mode
    1,442 votes

    In the world of synthpop, Depeche Mode reigns supreme with their chart-topping hits and innovative electronic sound. This English band's unique take on synthesizer-driven music earned them a massive following and numerous hits, such as "Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal Jesus". Their ability to infuse dark themes and raw emotions into catchy, electro-pop tracks sets them apart from many of their contemporaries. With an ever-evolving sound and influence spanning decades, Depeche Mode has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the synthpop landscape.

  • Tears for Fears

    Tears for Fears captivated the music scene with their deeply emotional lyrics, complex arrangements, and unforgettable hooks. Formed in the early '80s, the duo quickly rose to fame with their evocative hits like "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". By blending new wave, post-punk, and synthpop elements, Tears for Fears pioneered a distinctive sound that continues to resonate with listeners today. Their poignant, thought-provoking songs make them one of the most remarkable and beloved synthpop bands of all time.

  • Erasure
    681 votes

    Erasure's infectious beats, heartfelt lyrics, and undeniable stage presence have made them a standout act in the world of synthpop. Formed in the mid-'80s, the duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell quickly gained acclaim for their fusion of Clarke's electronic wizardry and Bell's powerful vocal range. With hits such as "A Little Respect" and "Sometimes," Erasure has consistently produced memorable tunes that resonate with fans across generations. Their bold sound and undeniable chemistry have cemented their status as one of the top synthpop acts in music history.

  • The Human League burst onto the music scene in the late '70s, ushering in a new era of synthpop with their avant-garde approach to electronic music. This British band's innovative use of synthesizers and accessible pop melodies resulted in hit after hit, with songs like "Don't You Want Me" and "Mirror Man" topping charts around the world. As pioneers of the genre, The Human League's influence can be heard in the work of countless modern artists. Their enduring appeal and groundbreaking sound secure their place among the best synthpop acts ever.

  • Yazoo
    521 votes

    Yazoo, also known as Yaz in the United States, showcased a captivating blend of electronic beats and emotive vocals that captured the essence of synthpop. The creative partnership between Vince Clarke, former Depeche Mode member, and powerhouse vocalist Alison Moyet resulted in a distinctive sound that stood out in the '80s music scene. With hits like "Don't Go" and "Only You", Yazoo's influence in the world of synth-driven pop is nothing short of groundbreaking. Their unique fusion of heartfelt lyrics and cutting-edge electronics make them an essential act in the synthpop pantheon.

  • Gary Numan
    399 votes

    One of the pioneers of synthpop, Gary Numan blazed a trail with his futuristic soundscapes, robotic stage presence, and genre-defining hits like "Cars" and "Are 'Friends' Electric?". Combining punk rock with synthesizer-driven melodies, Numan created a new wave of electronic music that resonated with fans worldwide. With a career spanning four decades, his influence continues to inspire countless artists and solidify his place among the greats of synthpop. Gary Numan's innovation and steadfast dedication to his craft make him an undeniable force in the world of electronic music.