March 7, 2010
Having taken us on a tour through the bands to watch out for in 2010, Dave shines a light on a scene that seemingly came out of nowhere in 2009 to dominate many pairs of headphones. Regardless of its name, this genre continues to produce some stunning music, so let Dave make the introductions.
This is the chill music edition – and that is deliberately vague. The term itself does invite the universal blanket of haze that is hypnagogic pop aka chillwave / glo-fi – a critically created and debated subgenre of the past year or so. Indeed there are aesthetic overlaps, but really these acts are living here because they personify various forms of good and chill. We’ll let them breathe as they are. Let’s float around:
MillionYoung: Take the fashionable sound of the hour (blissed-out vocals/syrupy synths/mushy bass hooks) up the contrast, add a South Floridian flair, and some ridiculously well-placed beat-drops, and you get an idea of what Mike Diaz does. Over two impressive EPs, Sunndream and now Be So True, he’s aiming not for your analysis but for your enjoyment – via headphones or party.
Coyote Clean Up: To quote my own tweet a few weeks back, this is like dropping trip-hop, video games, and smooth jazz in a well, and putting your ear to the ground. The debut LP Double Trouble offers up some weird, whispery jams, meant for slo-mo booty shaking. Go grab it from their label for the price of a right click.
Teengirl Fantasy:There’s an immeasurable heap of electronic music conceived in art-school dorm rooms on a daily basis. Who knows, Teengirl Fantasy might represent the best of what’s made it through the walls. These two Ohio kids are crossing dance club mentalities with pysch-sampled atmospheres and it makes for a heady package. And the visuals help too.
Toro y Moi: Causers of This finally arrived earlier this year, on the tail end of the aforementioned wave. It blurred lines so much that citing it in the same beachy breath as say, Washed Out (deservingly, the most popular name in chillwave discussion), started to really make this labeling thing tricky (which is why we should give up). Chaz Bundick constructed one of the year’s best albums, whatever it may be – we’ll go with an alarm clock for the senses; a dizzying texture collage that gets just as funky as it does dreamy, straight-up ear candy.
Memoryhouse: Imagine a lazy river ride that ends at a fork. One canal leads to an exit, where your tubes are collected and your days resume. The other stretches for miles unknown, where park barriers vanish along with all the sunny attractions and people. The water stays mild enough to bear under the moonlight, and the notion of getting “cold together” never seemed more perfect. You can guess which canal Denise and Evan of Memoryhouse dwell in. It makes sense that along with this languid approach, they’d make their debut EP, The Years, a free gem for your digital enjoyment. Look for Looms of Youth, their forthcoming full length this spring.
Until next time…Have fun. Be safe. Get weird.