Anemoia: Nostalgia for a time you've never known


The Force is Strong With This One
There is a somewhat new type of music emerging that has been known to induce feelings of nostalgia in a lot of people about a time that they never lived in. They like to call it "anemoia:" Nostalgia for a time you've never known. I was introduced to the type of music around nine years ago when "Drive" came out. I really enjoyed the song in this scene
(sound quality isn't the greatest in the video.)This is one of my favorites

next artist in the songs "Slow" and "Sun"

and this one... Home - Resonance

I think that the appeal and nostalgia comes from the fact that there wasn't internet before. The world was less connected, yet there weren't as many people that felt quite as lonely as there are now. People essentially just interacted more often in person. The idea of going to a place to hang out with some friends in a mall, an arcade, or just out in the middle of nowhere sitting on your car's hood looking at a distant display of lights in the night seems so appealing. Hollywood seems to be very aware of this. The frequency of movies and TV shows taking place in the 70's-90's seems to be ramping up. Sometimes they even take place during these times for no apparent reason at all, assumedly other than just having a setting that momentarily just makes people forget about how bad things are now and how much worse it will be getting.

Quarantine has been magnifying this problem quite a bit. Personally, I haven't really felt much happiness in quite a long time, and I realize getting lost in the past could be a problem for many, but I do still think I can enjoy this music as long as it doesn't get to my head too much to the point where I'm in a fantasy land all the time.


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I thought this genre was called Synthwave. A modern attempt to recreate 80's sounding songs. I'm a stay at home type of person, but the lockdown craziness gets to me too. At least before there was the idea and freedom to go somewhere and be out with people without much aggravation.


Jedi Council Member
If you like the nostalgia "sound", you might enjoy the Postmodern Jukebox channel on youtube. They take songs of many different eras and perform them in a different genre. For example, Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" performed brass band style:

or Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It", jazz style:

Or you could actually go listen to original sounds of big band, jazz, etc and get the real thing, not just the nostalgia cover. Try this blues singer, Lil Green from 1941:



FOTCM Member
I thought this genre was called Synthwave. A modern attempt to recreate 80's sounding songs.

Interestingly enough, recently I also discovered a Synthwave artist named Timecop1983. At first I thought that his songs were from 1983, but apparently this is his birth year.

I also found his songs very enjoyable and nostalgia inducing. The whole album is excellent for a late night driving on an empty road. :-D

Here's one example:

And thank you for the recommendation, @Digmo :flowers:


Dagobah Resident
Today i discovered Vaporwave (as a channel of somafm). It seems to be similar to synthwave (to the retro synthwave, not the synthwave from the 80s *shiver*), maybe a bit more edgy or experimental at times it seems, but it also has the raw synth sounds, the end-80s melancholy, the eternal purple sunset and the neon wireframes :-D.

just something i picked from youtube:
(Vaporwave Chill [Full Tracks] | Royalty Free Background Music & Motion Graphics)

It doesn't strictly qualify as Anemoia for me (born 1984), but I know what that feels like. I had it for the 60s and 70s at some point, which later morphed into a nostalgia for some 80s radio sounds of my childhood, nicely captured by some of Peter Gabriel's songs like Red Rain (1986).

As for night-drive music: Tangerine Dream could work as well I think :-), this is from the actual year 1984: Tangerine Dream - Love On A Real Train
(amazingly it's kind of opposite of retro (protro? :cool:) with its sound so modern, it could be some electronic music of today)

(Tangerine Dream Love On A Real Train New Version HD)

United Gnosis

Jedi Council Member
Definitely a nice vibe, although I've listened to some vaporwave/synthwave for a couple years (I think the style started catching around '17/'18) and I've never experience 'anemoia' out of it (born '86). but I do feel a strong sense of throwback to an era I never experienced. I wouldn't call it _nostalgia_ for a time you've never known, that's a bit strong of a word, but I'd call it remembrance, as in Proulx 'remembrance of things past'.

It feels like it induces remembrance of that time that I never experienced, that never existed except as my own projected reconstruction...
In Remembrance of Things That Never Were.


Dagobah Resident
Interesting thread. Is this anemoia thing exclusively tied to the synthwave genre then? Saying that because I was born in 1974, so I experienced the whole original music from the era. I recall punk/new wave, and the transition into what became synthpop, Gary Numan, OMD, Depeche Mode etc. I was just a wee kid, but we always had a radio on in our house growing up. It was a really great time to be alive, and early home computing and videogaming created what was to become the chiptune craze of recent years as well. Videogame music in the 80's was a really big thing. In Japan you can buy videogame soundtracks on vinyl and cd. TV was less politically correct too.

I think a nostalgia for that particular era, the late 70's early 80's, is a cyclical thing. Back in the mid 90's there was a nostalgia for the 60's scene, the Stones, Kinks, Beatles etc. If the music is of a good quality, it'll always resurface. Heck, back in the 60's most British musicians were digging into 30's and 40's Delta Blues musicians for inspiration. I'm convinced this is a cyclical phenomenon. Once you've gone about 30 years on from something it becomes a fascination for people looking back.


Dagobah Resident
Wow, thanks for all these amazing video shares and memories.
Lots of my happiest memories and life events are connected to the otherworldly sound of new wave synth music.
It’s definitely a nostalgic trip for me.
My husband and I heard this song done by two young guys from Vancouver, Canada, called “Strange Advance” on the radio, at an after work get together in 1983.
We both loved this song so much, it’s definitely a part of our relationship tapestry of tunes.



Jedi Council Member
FOTCM Member
I love Tears For Fears.. and this Strange Advance is cool Debra! I'd never heard of them before. I definitely have an almost-nostalgia for this stuff.. born in 1981, I did hear this type of music as a small child, but only in the background in movies etc. Only started listening to it on purpose within the last few years.. I made a bunch of 80s mixtapes for my car because of exactly that kinda wistful feeling it gives me.. (using cassettes enhances the vibe!)

Here's another Canadian band which sort of fits.. Martha and the Muffins!
From Mystery Walk (1984):

These Cyndi Lauper songs are probably the epitome of this kinda feeling for me.. all my examples are more guitary than synth-based I guess..

I like the idea of 'synthwave' but don't really enjoy the modern production style they usually use - heavily compressed to achieve a really big/loud sound... find it a bit fatiguing on the ears, compared to the gentler 1980s mixing style..
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