Is Synth-Pop EDM? [2023]

If you’re a fan of electronic music, you’ve probably heard of both synth-pop and EDM. But are these two genres interchangeable? Is all synth-pop considered EDM and vice versa? In this article, our team at Synth Pop™ will answer that question and more.

Characteristics of Synth-Pop and EDM

Before we dive into the main question, let’s take a moment to look at the defining characteristics of both genres.

Synth-Pop Characteristics

  • Heavy use of synthesizers and electronic instruments
  • Pop-inspired melodies and chord progressions
  • Catchy and memorable hooks
  • Emphasis on vocals and lyrics
  • Often features retro or vintage sound aesthetics

EDM Characteristics

  • Fast tempo and high-energy beats
  • Frequent use of samples and loops
  • Repetitive and minimalist arrangements
  • Focus on instrumental elements rather than vocals or lyrics
  • Wide range of sub-genres, from house to dubstep to trance

Is Synth-Pop Considered EDM?

The short answer is no, synth-pop is not considered EDM. While both genres fall under the umbrella of electronic music, they have distinct differences in their sound, structure, and history.

EDM is generally characterized by its high energy and heavy emphasis on danceability. Its roots can be traced back to the disco and club scenes of the 1970s and 80s, and its popularity exploded in the early 2010s with the rise of festivals like Ultra and Tomorrowland.

On the other hand, synth-pop emerged in the late 1970s as a fusion of electronic and pop music. It was typified by its use of synthesizers and other electronic instruments, as well as its focus on melody and lyrics. While some synth-pop songs can be upbeat and danceable, the genre as a whole does not prioritize that aspect of the music in the same way that EDM does.

How Would You Describe Synth-Pop?

In addition to its defining characteristics listed above, there are a few other ways to describe the sound and feel of synth-pop. Here are some examples:

  • “Nostalgic and dreamy”
  • “Catchy and infectious”
  • “Innovative and forward-thinking”
  • “Synthetic and futuristic”

Influences and Legacy of Synth-Pop

Like many musical genres, synth-pop has had a significant influence on other artists and styles. Some notable examples include:

  • The “new wave” movement of the late 70s and early 80s, which incorporated elements of punk rock and electronic music
  • The rise of “electropop” in the 2000s, which fused synth-pop with more contemporary production techniques
  • The continued popularity of synth-heavy soundtracks in movies and television shows


What Genre Is Electronic Synth-Pop?

Electronic synth-pop is a sub-genre of both electronic music and pop music. It blends the electronic production techniques of the former with the melodic hooks and lyrical focus of the latter.

Quick Tips and Facts

  • Synth-pop emerged in the late 1970s as a fusion of electronic and pop music.
  • It is characterized by heavy use of synthesizers, pop-inspired melodies, and emphasis on vocals and lyrics.
  • Synth-pop is not considered to be EDM, which is more focused on a fast tempo, high-energy beats, and danceability.

Pros and Cons of Synth-Pop

Like any genre of music, there are both positives and negatives to synth-pop. Here are a few examples of each:


  • Catchy and memorable hooks make for great “earworms”
  • Ideal for nostalgic or retro-themed playlists or media projects
  • Often features inventive and creative production choices


  • May not be as danceable or energetic as other electronic genres
  • Lyrically-focused songs may not appeal to those who prioritize instrumental or beat-driven music
  • Overuse of certain production tropes can lead to a generic or uninspired sound

Artists to Know in Synth-Pop

If you’re interested in exploring more synth-pop, here are some classic and contemporary artists to check out:

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Human League
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • New Order
  • Perfume Genius


If you’re a fan of electronic music, we highly recommend exploring the world of synth-pop. Its unique blend of electronic production and pop-inspired hooks makes for a compelling and memorable listening experience. Plus, its nostalgic and retro vibes are sure to transport you to another time and place.


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