The Prime: Alt Through the Ages

February 12th, 2024 by Liz Kosik

by Liz Kosik ’25

Genre: Alternative

Subgenre: Chillwave

RIYL: Washed Out, Neon Indian, M83, Beach House

Chillwave arose in the late 2000s as a genre that combined elements of dream pop and shoegaze with lo-fi aesthetics. The term “chillwave” was coined by the blog Hipster Runoff to describe the hazy, atmospheric sound of artists like Washed Out and Toro y Moi. Artists embraced electronic production techniques, vintage synthesizers, and dreamy vocals to create a distinctive sound that evoked a sense of nostalgia and relaxation.

The genre gained popularity quickly, with several artists releasing music that fit into the chillwave aesthetic. Chillwave was often associated with themes of escapism, summer vibes, and a general feeling of introspection. The rise of blogging platforms like Bandcamp and SoundCloud helped to spread the music to a wider audience, leading to a proliferation of chillwave-influenced artists and a dedicated fanbase.

As the genre evolved, artists began to experiment with different sounds and influences, incorporating elements of indie rock, R&B, and hip-hop into their music. While the initial hype around chillwave may have faded, its influence can still be heard in the music of artists across various genres. Chillwave helped to pave the way for the rise of genres like vaporwave, synthwave, and lo-fi hip-hop, proving that its dreamy, nostalgic sound continues to resonate with listeners.

Leave a Reply

Download Our iPhone App Download Our iPhone App