Synthwave is a term that has been applied to a subgenre of New Wave music that began in the late-1970s with the rise of affordable electronic instruments such as synthesizers and sequencers. It became popular in the 1980s with artists such as Depeche Mode, Anne Clark, KaS Product, Gary Numan, John Foxx, Fad Gadget and others. The term is related to/overlaps with subbranches such as Minimal wave, Cold wave, and Dark wave.
In the mid-2010s, the term also became associated with an '80s revival style that draws on Italo-disco music and electronic soundtracks of many 1980s films, video games, cartoons and television shows. It incorporates or closely imitates the sound of vintage analogue synthesizers, drum machines, and effects and has been described as "retrofuturistic". Despite being named as if it were a branch of synthesizer-based New Wave music, there is no direct relationship between the latter revivalist genre and aforementioned New Wave style, nor with New Wave generally.