The signs that Muse were on the verge of ‘doing an 80s’ were there. ‘Dig Down’ followed the same beats as ‘Mama’ by Genesis. Their current merch borrows the iconography of Miami Vice. And Matt Bellamy did actually name drop synthwave in this interview.
Their new direction is all but confirmed by this artwork which showed up on their Instagram. The promo shot, which borrows the imagery of the synthwave scene right down to the Ferrari, plam trees and neon hue. It appeared alongside the title ‘Thought Contagion’, which is presumably the next single.
This is probably the most obvious, some would say logical, next step, and the clear course of action since last May. Every album since ‘Origin of Symmetry’ has dabbled in electronica and each album since ‘The Resistance’ has been indebted to classic rock. So a throwback track has always been on the cards.
Matt Bellamy has always incorporated the media he consumes into his output. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The laws of robotics in ‘New Born’ yes, dubstep in ‘Unsustainable’, no.
We know our synthwave on this site. We wrote a three part guide. Synth music is instrumental and largely foregoes stringed instruments entirely. Muse aren’t a good fit.
Of course we’ll keep an eye out, and an ear out when this thing drops, likely on the 15th (spot that license plate?) – but this seems like a misstep.