October 30, 2010
Yeah. It’s the new buzz term. Any band you may have heard for the last three or so months has probably been called “chillwave”. Based on the description of said genre, a large amount of bands you may have liked for the last 5+ years may also may now be looped into the descriptor of “chillwave”. Nothing is beyond it’s grasp. Do you like Ariel Pink? Best Coast? Panda Bear? Boards of Canada? Beach House? m83? The Avalanches? Deerhunter? Broken Social Scene? Fennesz? Well my friend… you like chillwave.
“Wait,” you say, “all those bands existed years BEFORE this newfangled term.”
Yes, but all of that is irrelevant now. The wave is upon us.
I’m writing a few little posts about it, the first one is up now.
- The strange origination of Chillwave
- The bands of Chillwave
- The aesthetic of Chillwave
August 6, 2008
Boat shoes, fencing, polos, crew shorts, over-the-shoulder sweaters, oxfords, wayfarers, and indie rock. Wait… what?
You have to love Vampire Weekend’s “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” video. It’s a nice reminder that at the height of the 80’s New Wave scene U.S. culture has re-fallen in love with, there was another wholly opposite trend also at it’s epitome — the Super-Prep. As it is the nature of nostalgia to forget the bad portions of two decade year-old trends, it’s not surprising to see a resurgence of both of these styles right now.
Both cliques are equally-reviled but by different crowds. But ask yourself if the sulking/satanic Goth-Punk kids at the ending of “Kwassa Kwassa” are any more or less ridiculous than their preppy counterparts? V.W. kindly reminds us that, as this generation mines John Hughes movies for style pointers, that super-priss Molly Ringwald was adored just as much as misunderstood alterno-rocker Ally Sheedy. And if I recall, in Hughes idealized world, Ringwald’s prep was the heroine of a lot more movies than Sheedy’s dark dandruff artiste.
and, just for old time’s sake, back when this used to be more of a joke:
April 25, 2008
m83: Saturdays = Youth
Best album Anthony Gonzalez has put out BY FAR. The rolling sonic washout of “shoegaze” is still in the mix here, but the vocals, dreamy as they are, are put to the forefront. The thick electro dissipates a bit to make these gorgeous songs shimmer without overwhelming you. m83 was never “inaccessible”, but this one hits the pop palate a lot more than his previous work. A few reviews point out this could be the background synth soundtrack to a never-made Brat Pack movie… sounds crazy, but totally true, and it totally works.
RIYL: French electro, stereo bliss, John Hughes
MP3: “Graveyard Girl”
Biirde: Catherine Avenue
A well-paced strummy summer winner. Definite Rilo Kiley L.A. sound going on here with deliberate midwesterness with some top-of-the-line west coast production values. It’s an exercise that’s pop one minute but often wanders into Ballad Country. Wistful guys and girls swap songs and versus, while songs build and fade tastefully. “Catherine Avenue” is the single they’re pushing (on the website), but the real winner is the cover of “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of” where charmingly hilarious lyrics are underlayed by a jaunty organ wheeled into the studio straight from Haight and Ashbury.
RIYL: The 1900’s, Saddle Creek Records, California mythos
MP3: “Who Were You Thinkin’ Of”
Cut Copy: In Ghost ColorsI’m trying to limit the number of Madchester-esque dance/pop bands I claim to love, but I can’t deny that this is a flippin’ great album. A record meant for oscillating wildly to on beer-soaked bar floors and shiny disco ones (and maybe Pitchfork Festival maybe?! Plllllease?!). These guys would tear up the outfield grass in no time. In Ghost Colours will surely usurp Justice’s Cross as THE default records to spin this season — it’s what the Junior Boys would sounds like if they stopped being ethereal and just shook their asses. Standouts include “Out There On the Ice”, “Lights and Music” and the can’t-miss club banger “Hearts on Fire”.
RIYL: half-dancing, half-bouncing, New Order