Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Best Served Chilled: Washed Out and Wild Nothing

In the modern indieverse, new genres are born more frequently than babies in Park Slope, and they disappear more rapidly than bodies in Red Hook.  In 2009, Neon Indian unleashed "Deadbeat Summer" on the world, and such a new genre was born.  This genre, defined by languid, summery '80s synth-pop developed with 21st-century electronics, was tagged with the appellation "chillwave" by the people who decide these things.   Suddenly, a rash of "chillwave" records were released on the unwitting record consumer.  Some, like Neon Indian's debut Psychic Chasms of Memory Tapes' Seek Magic were among the year's best; others that we have forgotten were more forgettable.  One thing seemed certain, however: chillwave was not here to stay.

But, lo and behold, Summer 2010 has arrived (almost), and the genre has returned, bigger and more buzz-worthy than ever.  You can expect a summer jam-packed with breezy beach pop.  So, how to decide what belongs on your poolside playlist?  Luckily, FP is here to help:

Washed Out is the nom de synth of Ernest Greene, a young man from Perry, Georgia (yes that's a place) who makes bedroom pop from his actual bedroom (in fact, he once did so for a band called Bedroom).  He released his debut EP Life Of Leisure was released last August, followed one month later by the cassette-only High Times.  Greene has remained active throughout 2010, performing at SXSW, embarking on a short European tour, and recording a new track for the Adult Swim Singles Series, due next Monday.  His music is heavily influenced by 80s New Wavers such as New Order and OMD, but with a dash of trip-hop and a side of cheer.  Blog-imposed comparisons are really unnecessary, however; just listen for yourself and you'll quickly come up with your own:

Washed Out - New Theory

Washed Out - Feel It All Around

Virginia's Jack Tatum, aka Wild Nothing, answers the question "what would The Cure sound like if Robert Smith were in love every day of the week and not just Friday?"  His debut full-length Gemini was released via Captured Tracks last Tuesday, and it provides the perfect soundtrack to a wistful evening of moonlight, mojitos, and memories.  Tatum will be touring the east coast with Neon Indian throughout June; locals can catch them at Music Hall of Williamsburg on June 17.

Wild Nothing - Live In Dreams

Wild Nothing - O Lilac


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