M83 Songs Ranked

M83 is a French electronic music project formed in Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes in 1999 and currently based in Los Angeles, United States. The band’s primary member is vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer Anthony Gonzalez. The band was initially formed as a duo also with Nicolas Fromageau; it has released eight albums and two soundtracks, including the Grammy Award-nominated Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming. Gonzalez and Fromageau parted ways shortly after touring their second album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts. Gonzalez records primarily on his own, with other artists as guest musicians. The band is signed to Mute Records and found international success in 2011 with the single “Midnight City”. Their most recent album DSVII (the sequel of Digital Shades Vol. 1) was released on 20 September 2019. Here are all of the M83 songs ranked.

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15. Do It, Try It (Junk, 2016)

“The last thirty seconds feel like so much wasted potential, it’s Get Lucky all over again. A glimpse of a good idea tacked at the end of a generic “revival” song (I know I’m a minority on not liking it). He said on an interview he wanted to evoke the “cheesy” tunes of late 80s/early 90s but there’s a difference in inspiring yourself on them and outright replicating them on a grating degree.”

14. Outro (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming 2011)

“Anthony leaves us with his strong and formulaic progression of waving synth chords and chorale like pitches of grand texture. A bassy introduction of what feels like the blackest parts of space is introduced, and we move slowly away from this experience. The choral timbre returns and we are given the siren of what is to easily inferred as aspiration, as reaching. Guitar is then providing as a metronome before the poppy textures of the synth returns. More amplitude and density returns, yet a calming feeling has arisen. We are optimistic. We are hopeful for what is to come. This journey has given us so much more to look forward to, but so much to appreciate. As the last minute of Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming conclude, I cannot help but feel like we were given too much of the rush and not enough of the breath. The piano lays us down softly to repose, to recollect on our adventure. The final chord has tucked us in, whispering to us “goodnight” as the final note of the soft piano motif has concluded.”

13. Claudia Lewis (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming 2011)

“One of the weaker intros to any track on the album, but soon recuperates its lost appeal with a very powerful clash of vocals and bass guitar. Kick drum fills present the powerful anthem each time while then accompanied by poppy synthesizers. More of a vocal track and less of an instrumental one for the first half. The subtle “do dooo dooo” pitches in a downward motion are easily locked into your brain as you hum along while layered with a bass guitar. A killer keyboard solo is introduced towards the latter half of the song providing a great transition to the middle. All amplitude is dropped to the dreamy keyboards, with vocals soon to come. Anthony begins his verse again to repeat a kick drum into what seems to be a chorus, but we are then surprised to find another breakdown of electric bass and percussion. Repetitive pops of the synth continue as it takes over as the solo instrument.”

M83: Hurry Up, We're Dreaming Album Review | Pitchfork

12. Teen Angst (Before the Dawn Heals Us, 2005)

“Absolutely fantastic song from the French electronica king. This can be found on the ‘Before the Dawn Heals Us’ album, and although that album is brilliant, their previous album, ‘Dead Cities, Red Seas and Lost’ is even BETTER.”

See more: M83 Albums Ranked

11. Couleurs (Saturdays = Youth, 2008)

“Absolutely monstrously epic piece of electronics. This is basically Giorgio Moroder’s “Chase Theme” from Midnight Express done in an ambient house/shoegaze way.”

10. Oblivion (Oblivion [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack], 2013

“A bombastic synth/dream pop track of epic proportions, with Susanne Sundfør’s otherworldly vocals (sometimes reminiscent of Anneke van Giersbergen here). What’s not to like? Obviously, you may not want that much bombast every day, but for a sci-fi movie of non-subtle subject matter it’s dead on.”

M83: Oblivion OST Album Review | Pitchfork

9. Don’t Save Us from the Flames (Before the Dawn Heals Us, 2005)

“This was while Indie Electronic was still in its infancy. They had to sound just a tad like Animal Collective, or Arcade Fire to pull it off in their head. It was about a year later more and more folks said screw it was making Electronic music for the Indie kids. By the Spring of 2008, the group them self figured this out and released a couple of monumental singles. This has its roots here not only for the group but for the genre as there is actual rock singing on here. The hooks or brilliant with people yelling in nice voices.”

8. Graveyard Girl (Saturdays = Youth, 2008)

“This song is about that girl that wore the black t-shirts, smothered her face in dark eye-liner. That girl who you could see from miles away because the complete darkness of her hair created a void in the distance that one could not mistake for another. This song is about someone’s secret love for that girl. Clearly the lover can see through her teenage facade. He knows she is a real “bubblegum” teenage girl at heart, and that is what influences his love, “for Graveyard Girl.”

7. I Need You (Divergent: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 2014)

“No clue why this is getting so much hate because it’s a super good song. Sure, the first half is nothing too special but then it breaks out of its shell in the middle and finishes up as a heck of a track. Of course, he isn’t doing anything different here but it’s still a very strong song in my opinion.”

M83: Before the Dawn Heals Us Album Review | Pitchfork

6. Steve McQueen (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011)

“A return to Saturdays=Youth, we are in full dream here. Synth modulation with a chimey timbre excel this piece into an 80s haven. Stuttering poppy synths provide a quick break with a few ambient jungle sounds before returning right back to a vocally driven movement in this fleshed out LP. As we return to the chorus, we are reminded of the guitar’s presence as it strums loudly on top of a moving synth, accompanied by smooth vocals that are thick with electronic sharpness. Kick drum builds the breakdown into a quick measure of very loud keyboard, before returning to the loudest and thickest chorus on this album. Repeating “just waiting” in the vocals provides a great foundation for yearning as we approach the ending of this LP. “

See more: George Ezra Songs Ranked

5. Kim & Jessie (Saturdays = Youth, 2008)

“When it comes to music criticism, time will sometimes completely upend orthodox views. Back in the 1980s the likes of Rolling Stone magazine spent all their time grumbling about ‘plastic’ synth pop and championing more ‘real’ and ‘worthy’ artists like John Cougar Mellencamp. Three decades on, indie acts constantly pay homage to these electric synth pop pioneers and classic guitar rock sounds hopelessly tired and dated. Kim & Jessie was one of the tracks of the 00s which understood the music of the 80s best.”

4. We Own the Sky (Digital Shades Vol. 1, 2007)

“Heavenly song here, just effortlessly beautiful. This is one of my favorite songs. It is nostalgic, gorgeous and wonderful. I love the feelings it evokes in my mind, it never gets old. I listen and weep. I listen and feel. I remember what is was like to be happy. I remember when I was a kid and life was so beautiful.”

M83: Saturdays=Youth Album Review | Pitchfork

3. Reunion (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011)

“I have seldom heard Anthony Gonzalez spread such a joyous sentiment like this. Not that his songs are sad or anything like that. Not at all: they always have a huge component of joviality. It is that they are always in a mix; not being one or the other. They are optimistic, but at the same time heartbroken. They are happy, but at the same time they are in an incomprehensibly dark way (“Someone lurks in the shadows”, it comes to mind). In “Reunion” there is a little gradient: the chorus has a non-lyrical melody that could easily make anyone guess that it is a love song and not a bitter one.”

2. Wait (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011)

“With Wait, we are almost taken off guard with a soft strum of an acoustic guitar before we are reintroduced to the synthesizers. Anthony sings softly at first, reminiscent of heartbreak and sorrow. A subtle electronic sound is introduced before a harping vocal chorus is powerfully added. It softens for a built and allows the synth to sandwich layer upon layer of emotion, all into a quiet hum of the chorale. Anthony continues to sing his poetry with a few straining yet legato pitches while the guitar and percussion build in both amplitude and density, providing a thick outro of repetition and pain. Much higher pitches exude here, confidently executed shrills on top of a fading vocal layer. The poppy synth is left to complement the song.”

1. Midnight City (Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, 2011)

“A shrilling synth modulation opens up this track with a repetitive alteration of two wonderful tones. At once, a drum fill kicks into play and introduces this powerful 80s anthem. Lots of down-tempo singing accompanied by a powerful chorus. Towards the middle, all instruments fade away except for a softly textured synthesizer. Added soon is the kick drum until it builds into the chorus. An outro of artificial sax is then presented to keep us dancing towards the end through a fun solo. A very catchy song that has been a favorite of mine for months.”