Much like the internet-borne musical fads I wrote about last semester, chillwave refers to another passing fancy in the music blogosphere. In truth, the term itself, coined in 2009 off Hipster Runoff, has always been something of a pejorative, but the movement itself is seen as significant. Chillwave, a hypnogogic, layered pop style heavy on the synths and the reverb, often evokes in its listeners an imaginative visual effect.
When I was coming of age at the end of chillwave’s influential years (like, 2009-2011, oozing into 2012), I fell in love with that visual effect. It’s been interesting to see how those same artists labeled as “chillwave” producers have moved on into the worlds of nu-disco, synthpop, and even vaporwave. We live in a hyperculture, with passing fancies like chillwave and nu-disco, shoegaze and seapunk, and many other “genres” getting essentially 15 minutes of fame before the next big thing hits the blogs.
For those of you who don’t know, Heather works at the college Bookstore. Officially, she’s known as the ‘Sales Floor Supervisor/Apparel Buyer.’ If you see her around, say hi! This past week, I got to sit down with her and her brother, Erik, to talk a bit about her love for college radio, and her new show.
Warning: This article is partially devoted to my coming to terms with my middle/high school existence. Be prepared for a little emotion.
Full disclosure: My middle school years were turbulent, with friendships coming and going and new hormones introducing themselves every other day. I was gross and I looked the part. Even pre-9th grade me knew this, so when it came time to settle on an aesthetic, a clique, an identity: I did the last thing you’re supposed to do, and chose “hipster.”
The word, the concept, the identity reappeared on Meme-Touting Sites during middle school, and by 8th grade, I was turning the tides away from a weird gothic phase (ask about THAT if you dare) into some softer, more lighthearted pop-
This is a playlist of those bands I needed to get familiar with before 9th grade rolled around so that I could walk the walk and talk the talk. As you’ll be able to tell from this playlist, I couldn’t.
Also, valid question: what are these bands up to now? We’ll find out!
With 19 studio albums from three different bands under his belt, Ryan Adams has made a lot of music. He’s done everything from country/alt, to concept metal, to Taylor Swift. So which album is the Ryan Adams album that everyone should listen to? Which albums are just okay? Can you even rank a discography that changes tone and genre on a whim? Maybe not, but that doesn’t mean that this Ryan Adams fan isn’t going to try.
Also this is just my own personal opinion and will continue to change. Honestly, I changed the order of this list like 4 times just writing it. And don’t even get me started on how hard it was to only pick one song from each album as my favorite…
If you’ve seen the movie High Fidelity, you know that Rob Gordon and his friends like talking in “top fives.” Me too. So here’s a list of podcasts that I’m loving right now. BONUS: they’re all created and hosted by women!
It’s basically impossible at this point to not be aware of our incoming environmental catastrophe. What were once theoretical statistics are now tangible realities, as temperatures rise globally, natural disasters intensify, and our coastal cities are threatened by the expanding ocean. This is our world, and the bite of it sometimes keeps me up at night. Which is why I fell so hard for Front Row Seat To Earth, the new album by Natalie Mering’s project Weyes Blood. The reality of climate change never leaves Mering’s line of sight as she sings of feelings as seemingly disparate from environmental destruction as love, longing, and iPhones. This is not a social justice album. Mering is not asking you to recycle more, although I’m sure she would appreciate it if you did. This is an album about how to get up every morning and keep living and loving, even when you are aware that within your lifetime you will experience environmental changes that no humans have experienced before. This is an album about the primacy of truth and love, and the ability of humans to survive change.
Mariah’s album Utakata No Hibi was basically unknown outside the local Japanese Underground when it was released in 1983 on the Better Days label. It only began to generate buzz in the late 2000’s, when DJ’s started to drop samples of it. Throughout its over 30 year history, Mariah’s album has gained a mythical status, and listening now, it’s not hard to see why. Beyond the fact that it hadn’t been in mainstream circulation until Palto Flats reissued it in 2015, Utakata No Hibi is weird. Describing music as weird probably doesn’t tell you much, because well shit, most experimental stuff is weird. But, Mariah’s album is truly hard to pin down. Part of the reason I chose to write about this album is because it’s so damn hard to describe. So here we go…