Chillwave Style Overview
Chillwave Music Description
Chillwave is a music microgenre that emerged in the late 2000s. It is characterized by a faded or dreamy retro pop sound, escapist lyrics (frequent topics include the beach or summer), psychedelic or lo-fi aesthetics, mellow vocals, low-to-moderate tempos, effects processing (especially reverb), and vintage synthesizers. The term was originally synonymous with "glo-fi" or "hypnagogic pop".
Chillwave loosely emulates 1980s electropop and engages with notions of memory and nostalgia. It was one of the first music genres to develop primarily through the Internet. The term was coined in 2009 by the satirical blog Hipster Runoff to describe indie acts whose sounds resembled incidental music from 1980s VHS tapes. Its most prominent artists were the acts Neon Indian, Washed Out, and Toro y Moi, who gained attention during 2009's "Summer of Chillwave". Washed Out's 2009 track "Feel It All Around" remains the best-known chillwave song.