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”

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Get Schooled by Neon Indian at the “VEGA INTL Night School”

by Devon Chodzin, ’19

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Fall 2015 has been a season of long awaited releases. Several artists are still long overdue for new releases (I’m looking at you, Frank Ocean). As of three weeks ago, however, Neon Indian finally dropped their third original studio album after four years of silence. VEGA INTL. Night School is an absolute departure from 2009’s Psychic Chasms and 2011’s Era Extraña; here, Neon Indian harnesses the power of disco and lo-fi to reflect the genre hybridization which characterizes the late 1970s up until the early 1990s. It is obvious that over the past four years, Neon Indian’s leader and primary composer, Alan Palomo, took his time to find a more perfect sound that aligns with what he wants to produce and what his fans want to hear.

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