Playlist: RIP Chillwave

By Devon Chodzin ’19

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.

Here’s a little “chillwave” nostalgia for you!

MillionYoung – “Hammock”

Toro y Moi – “Blessa”

Memory Tapes – “Bicycle”

Neon Indian – “Deadbeat Summer”

Washed Out – “Feel it All Around”

Whitewoods – “Beach Walk”

Gold Panda – “Quitters Raga”

Tame Impala- “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards”

College & Electric Youth – “A Real Hero”

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