Dream on

A field guide to latter-day chill wave
By MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  March 3, 2010

Past perfection: the radiant, repressed pop of Neon Indian. By Michael Brodeur.
Accepted knowledge (i.e., Pitchfork) dictates that the "summer of chillwave" was actually last summer. Well, shit. We hardly had a chance to get in on that chill before the far more literal one set in. If this sound is indeed indie rock's equivalent to white shoes after Labor Day, then it stands to reason that the brink of the spring season has a whole second wave of gauzy, gazy, beachy, dream-wavy blurpop in store. Below, please find a few promising sprouts from the spring crop.

VACATION DAD, "HEMP SCENTED BODY LOTION" | Contrary to popular belief, one needn't be anywhere near a Southern clime or a beach to conjure the sun-faded æsthetic of chillwave. Wisconsin's Andy Todryk can regularly be found behind the drum kit of his formidable Farms, but on his own as Vacation Dad, he carves cozy caverns of noise, reverb, disembodied vocals, and trippy synth trails.

PREGNANT, "FOR SOMETIMES" | There's a lot going on in the basements of Sacramento. There's the ambient sprawls of Woman Year, the jumpy eclectronica of Meadow Blaster, and my current fave: Pregnant. Daniel Trudeau cuts right through glo-fi's chronic detachment with his voice — a disarming, tremulous, humanizing croon that makes "For Sometimes" unshakably catchy. You can grab his full Liquidation on Swans debut gratis atwww.freemusicarchive.org.

WET HAIR, "CRUCIFIX IN THE WAVES" | The team of Iowa City's Shawn Reed and Ryan Garbes represent a curious divergence from the typical chillwave MO. Their blend of fuzzy drones, minimalist rhythms, and cassette hiss falls in nicely with chillwave expectations, but their toothy Wurlitzer and fume-filled avant-garage sensibility provide a surly grit that I've yet to hear so well-tempered anywhere else.

GOLDEN AGES, "RIGHT SEASON" | The other day, the mysterious Philly figure known only as Golden Ages tweeted a caveat to eager bloggers: "i am not a surfer/i don't live on a beach." Noted. For those more inclined toward the gazier side of the chillwave sound, Golden Ages are your new A Sunny Day in Glasgow: shimmering synths pour down like sunlight, melodies bloom and fade, and somewhere down below it all throbs a block-rocking beat. Get a chunk of free GA goodness at www.deerhaus.com.

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  Topics: Music Features , pregnant, pregnant, Neon Indian
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