Some of the most powerful music is discovered at six in the morning and it’s sometimes very specific to those late nights of no sleep and a zombie-like state. So we decided to start Late Night Music. If we find ourselves listening to a song between 2 and 6 in the morning, we’ll post it between 2 and 6 in the morning. See you out here, fellow insomniacs.
It’s probably not the internet’s fault, but let’s toss the blame at an easy target: In an era of constantly evolving styles, infinite access, and seemingly endless Soundcloud innovations (and clunkers alike), there are often times when a genre makes that abrupt, sour turn from merely describing a style of music to serving as a pejorative. It happened with dubstep, it’s happening with trap, and it will probably happen to whatever trend is currently blowing up Beatport, Hypem, and Soundcloud (my money’s on twerk).
We can’t rest this phenomenon entirely on the broad shoulders of the internet–after all, “disco” was a dirty word long before dial-up modems–but we can certainly recognize that, as with many things, the internet has hastened its occurrence.
Remember chillwave? Of course you do, you’re probably listening to Toro y Moi and alternating between reading this post and staring at your Tom’s shoes. In the event that I’ve guessed wrong, chillwave is that most blissful of fuzzed out beat-driven subgenres that combines a penchant for sun-drenched samples, occasional hip-hop influences, and pop sensibilities. Its practitioners include the likes of Washed Out, Memory Tapes, Pictureplane, Ariel Pink, Neon Indian, and the aforementioned Mr. Moi. Like so many genres, its boarders are often quite loose. Regardless, “chillwave” has come to conjure a particular sound that can be as easily dismissed as its name can be uttered.
Sometimes chillwave can be the perfect attire for your ears–let’s say between the hours of two and four AM on a dreary New York night with the threat of an impending storm looming and a long day behind you. With a brain somewhere between burnt out and buzzing with ideas, chillwave provides the perfect medicine.
Vancouver’s iamforest (aka Luke Hartle) self-identifies as a chillwave artist, but his music draws from too many stylistic touchstones and tries to many fun, poppy things to be entirely boxed in any one subgenre. It is joyful without being saccharine, laid back without by sleepy, and often catchy without using words–a rare feat. It’s a cure for this coffee addled brain.
You can stream (and, if you’re feeling sporty, pay what you’d like to download) iamforest’s recently released Driven Out EP below. For further listening, check out the stream of his stellar single “Structures” below that.