The Evolution of the Chillwave Genre: What's Next 4 'chill wave' artists. | Hipster Runoff

The Evolution of the Chillwave Genre: What's Next 4 'chill wave' artists.

As yall know, in the 2k9 post-AnCoGrizzPhoenixBear world, the indiesphere generated a new genre of music to love/follow/listen 2 called 'chillwave.' Most authentic alts were there to watch the chillwave genre 'get off the ground', getting 'tons of mad blog hype buzz' from relevant mp3 blog tastemakers. Now that chillwave has grown up a lil bit, chillwave artists are required to 'tour', and take their band/brand to the next level.

A key element of the chillwave era was that the members of your band/project were required to be unknown/from an obscure place. Sorta weird how these bands consisting of 'Jim Nobody from Nowhereville USA' are now becoming 'must-see' acts on 'the festival circuit', etc. Sorta feel pressured to see them before 'too many people know about them.' I honestly feel like the first time I see a blogbuzz band live will be the last time I see them. I guess the Arcade Fire was right when they said, "Funeral."

These are the three 'largest' chillwave artists, and an analysis of their live performances.

Live Performance: Washed Out (A much 'hyped' CMJ debut in NYC).

As you can see, WASHED OUT bro went with a '1 man band behind a Macbook' setup, utilizing some 'sweet visuals', and also doing some live singing. It seems to be a good representation of the music, but how can Washed Out convert his show into a 'touring machine.' Maybe he could 'only play concerts in water parks [via wave pools] or something. I am not sure if WashedOutBro will have enough money to purchase a 'daft punk pyramid.' Maybe he could rent it while Daft Punk is not touring.

I sorta wish all bands had some sort of megastructure, similar to the Daft Punk Pyramid. It seems like concerts might be more exciting that way.

Photo via rez avissar

I have heard live reviews calling Ernest Greene 'very attractive.' It seems like he has the opportunity to brand himself as 'one of the most handsome men in indie music', sort of attracting tons of females to his shows, and building up alternative resentment [via untalented/angsty altbros]. Ultimately, this model was 'very successful' for Panda Bear's live show. I think Washed out should 'build solid visuals', and then protect his brand by 'only playing relevant shows where he can make mad bank.'  Possibly try to crowd out the 'generic DJs' and steal their potential earnings.

Live Performance: Neon Indian

Neon Indian was apparently '1 bro making an album in his bedroom', but his live performance consists of 3 additional band members. It seems like the '4 person band' model is 'very cross-over-able.'  This is important to capture the attention of mainstream bros, etc.  Most mainstreamers can really only consume live music if there is 'a band of 3+ members' or if there is a rap crew milling around on stage.

I am not sure what my expectations of Neon Indian are. Did I want them to 'be a band', 'be 1 bro on stage', or maybe just 'be the next AnCo.' It seems like it might be 'economically feasible' to lay off one of the band members and work towards a mainstream+conceptual textural live show.  It seems like they really 'look like a band.'  I feel like the Neon Indian bro might be implementing a boy-band-esque formula, where the members of the band are disposable & constantly feel pressure to add value/'look like a member of an alt band'/understand their role in the overall project.

Seems like Neon Indian might become one of those 'bands that plays at every festival'/comes to my local alt scene 2x per year.  Has the genre of 'sorority girls who go to music festivals' already caught on to Neon Indian?

Live Performance: Memory Tapes/Memory Cassette

Apparently, this 'chillwave' band does not perform live. I feel like this band was actually 'pre-chillwave' but sort of got 'lumped in afterwards' just cuz they had a few chillwave characteristics, but didn't really make pure chillwave music. I will probs download free MP3s by this band 4evr, but won't buy their vinyls until I am a rich bro in a meaningful loft with a shelf of vinyls.

Which chillwave band has the best/worst live model?
Which chillwave band will 'make it'/'go mainstream'/be 'the most authentic'?
Which chillwave band will u see first?
Which chillwave band will lead to the implosion of the chillwave genre?
Which chillwave artist will escape/out-live the chillwave era?
What's ur #1 musical memory of 2k9?

Previous Chillwave coverage

Washed Out


Washed Out is the hit chillwave project of indie hunk Ernest Greene.

Read more>>>>

Neon Indian


Neon Indian is a chillwave buzzband from 2k9 that rode chillwaves

Read more>>>>

Memory Tapes


Memory Tapes is a fallen chillwave band.

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