The ‘chillwave summer’ is officially in the history books and the genre itself has been declared null and void, but that doesn’t mean the market for lo-fi, laptop-manipulated, 80’s synth doesn’t exist. There is still room for the one-man show in the club, in the concert hall and on the festival stage. There are still lazy, hazy, beach daze playlists to fill and there are still DJs and masked artists out there to fill them. There are literally hundreds of exciting tracks and mixes floating around, but these are the three LPs that I like to chill-out to while continuing to eat my words about electronic music.
Washed Out – Within & Without
(Sub Pop, 2011)
One of the originals to be labeled chillwave, Ernest Greene‘s first full length as Washed Out lives up to the expectations. I can’t say I recommend his live performance (Toro Y Moi is better live), but this album is perfect for a lazy Sunday on the couch or the plane ride home from a weekend that went too far.
SBTRKT – SBTRKT
(Young Turks, 2011)
Still nameless and faceless (as far as I can tell), this South London producer (pronounced subtract) sounds a lot like James Blake when he sings, but falls on the more upbeat side of dubstep. Bringing in Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon on vocals for Wildfire is only one example of the genius on display here.
Hooray For Earth – True Loves
Not exactly ‘electronic music’ in the common use of the term, Hooray For Earth qualify for this list because their pop music is heavily reliant on synth. The only actual ‘band’ on this list, these guys from New York City have grown on me over the past couple months and True Loves proves they are more than a single and a remix — the layers might be deep but this album still comes across as light and perfect for a day in the sun.