Chillwave is the latest musical trend to come out of the United States, an electronic version of lo-fi, it incorporates casio/toy synth sounds with melodically distant vocals, usually heavily processed together with synthetic percussion sounds and most of the time sounds like it could be the soundtrack to an underwater dance party in the summer of 1982. It is dreamy, catchy, emotional and fresh in a retro way. Chillwave is the soundtrack to your bummer in the summer.
NEON INDIAN – DEADBEAT SUMMER
Austin, Texas based Neon Indian aka Alan Palomo is one of the “founding fathers” of the Chillwave movement. Debut LP Psychic Chasms was produced in his apartment in a warm summer; Deadbeat Summer is a prime example of Chillwave, sampling Todd Rundgren’s “Izzat Love” as well as distorted synths, video game beeps, processed lazy vocals and distorted fuzzy guitars.
TORO Y MOI – TALAMAK
Another one-man-band, this time from Columbia, South Carolina, Chazwick Bundick is another prime example of Chillwave again nodding to sun and summer in the sounds that could be the perfect soundtrack to waking up on a summer Sunday morning with the sun shining on your face.
WASHED OUT – FEEL IT ALL AROUND
Washed Out aka Ernest Greene is another founding member of the chillwave movement, from Perry, Georgia, and close friend to Toro Y Moi’s Chazwick Bundick, Feel It All Around is one of the most prominent chillwave songs, again it couldn’t be more summery if it was a surfing teacher called Summer Flowers who lived in Baja California.
SMALL BLACK – DESPICABLE DOGS
An emerging band from Long Island, Small Black fuse heavily distorted yet quiet Casio synths and guitars, with distant yet very emotional vocals that capture the vibe in which it was recorded, Small Black’s vocalist Josh Kolenink’s uncle Matt’s attic in Long Island. Uncle Matt, who is a surf-maker, is the main subject of the video for Despicable Dogs.
BIG SPIDER’S BACK – PERFECT MACHINE
Another solo project, this time from Seattle and coming from the mind and bedroom of Yair Rubinstein; Big Spider’s Back is surprisingly intricate be a one-man-band. A very emotional track with characteristically distant and echoed vocals and repetitive keyboards and synths.