Chillwave is a genre of music that emerged in the late 2000s. It usually combines elements from various genres, including indie rock, electro-pop, dream-pop, and synth-pop. The genre often contains dreamy, nostalgic sounds and uses synthesizers, drum machines, and other electronic production techniques.

It also has unconventional song structures and focuses on atmosphere and texture. Artists in this genre often draw inspiration from a variety of sources, including the music of the 1980s, hip-hop, and R&B. Chillwave is famed as ‘the sound of the internet,’ and its popularity has grown significantly in recent years, with a variety of famous artists emerging in the genre.

Origin of Chillwave

The origin of chillwave dates back to the mid-2000s when a group of independent musicians began experimenting with electronic music production and sampling techniques. The dreamy lo-fi sound of 1980s synth-pop heavily influenced this new style of music. The more experimental sounds of shoegaze and post-rock also affected Chillwave. This fusion of styles created a unique sound with a hazy, dreamy atmosphere and heavy reliance on nostalgia.

Music journalist Carles first coined the term “chillwave” in 2008. He used it to describe the music of artists such as Washed Out, Neon Indian, and Toro y Moi. These artists were among the first associated with this genre. Their music was primarily instrumental, creating a sense of atmosphere and nostalgia. The popularity of chillwave increased in the late 2000s and early 2010s as the genre gained a cult following among indie music fans.

The genre also influenced the rise of the “bedroom producer,” as many chillwave artists were self-taught musicians who created their music in their bedrooms. This connection to DIY production techniques gave the genre a unique aesthetic and allowed it to stand out from other electronic music styles. By the mid-2010s, chillwave had significantly influenced the indie music scene, with many artists incorporating its dreamy, nostalgic sound into their music. While the genre has since evolved and splintered into various subgenres, its influence is also present in many modern indie and electronic music productions.

Characteristics of This Genre

The genre has a distinct sound and a mellow, hazy, nostalgic atmosphere. V vintage synthesizers, drum machines, and effects pedals achieve this sound. Additionally, the genre often features heavily-processed vocals and a lo-fi production style. In terms of instrumentation, the genre typically features a combination of guitar, synthesizer, and drum machine. The synthesizers here are often vintage and have a unique, dreamy sound. The drum machines usually play a laid-back, chill-out beat.

Additionally, Chillwave musicians use effects pedals to create an atmospheric soundscape. Vocally, chillwave often features heavily-processed vocals that producers often pitch-shift and distort. The songs create a dreamy, distant effect. Regarding lyrical content, chillwave usually has a sad and nostalgic tone. The lyrics often explore themes of nostalgia, longing, and alienation. In summary, Chillwave usually have a mellow, hazy, and dreamy atmosphere. It is a genre heavily reliant on vintage synthesizers, drum machines, and effects pedals to create its unique sound.

If you enjoyed this article, check out these similar articles;