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.
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!
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!
I’m starting a new type of playlist where I select songs I think fit characters from books, films, shows, my imagination, etc. and they will from here on out be called ~Personality Playlists~
To start, I thought I’d pick some of my favorite badass 90s girls Enid Coleslaw and Rebecca Doppelmeyer from Daniel Clowes’ comic book series Eightball and later their own novel, Ghost World (which was also turned into a cult classic movie starring a young Scarjo and Thora Birch and the charming Steve Buscemi)
When this is posted, it probably will no longer be September 30. But, as I write this, it is currently September 30th. Anyway, September 30th was one of those days for me where I sat down in a good spot, queued the right music on Spotify, and just felt good. Though the sun wasn’t shining, the weather was finally starting to feel like actual fall, and the moment was accentuated by the great music I had playing in the background.
Have you all been enjoying this rainy spell? My rain slicker is worn thin, but it’s still holding up.
Here’s a playlist that starts with I Can’t Stand the Rain by Ann Peebles and flows on from there. Each song samples an earlier song. I’ve laid it out linearly so you won’t get lost. This hip-hop family tree has some dead ends, so there may be a couple songs that directly sample the same song before we move on. Listen for what elements are borrowed each time. What lasts, and for how many repetitions. I’ll point some things out, but I’ll leave some for you to find.