New wave music is an umbrella term for several late-1970s to mid-1980s pop/rock musical styles with ties to 1970s punk rock. Initially—as with the later post-punk—new wave was broadly analogous to punk rock before branching as a distinctly identified genre, incorporating electronic/experimental music, mod, disco and pop. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including New Romantic and gothic rock.
New wave differs from other movements with ties to first-wave punk as it displays characteristics common to pop music, rather than the more “arty” post-punk, though it incorporates much of the original punk rock sound and ethos while arguably exhibiting greater complexity in both music and lyrics. Common characteristics of new wave music, aside from its punk influences, include the use of synthesizers and electronic productions, the importance of styling and the arts, as well as a great amount of diversity.
New wave is seen as one of the definitive genres of the 1980s, when the genre became a fixture on MTV, and the popularity of several new wave artists has been partially attributed to the exposure that was given to them by the channel. In the mid-1980s, differences between new wave and other music genres began to blur. New wave has enjoyed resurgences since the 1990s, after a rising “nostalgia” for several new wave-influenced artists. The revivals in the 1990s and early 2000s were small, but became popular by 2004; subsequently, the genre has influenced a variety of other music genres.
(Wikipedia contributors. “New wave music.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 7 May. 2014. Web. 16 May. 2014.)