October 17, 2012

Max Bell grew up two miles from the beach. Don’t question him, brah.

You may like chillwave. You may hate chillwave. And you may be asking yourself whether chillwave is a band, a genre, or a nice and slow shoulder-height wave that breaks left at just the right moment. You know, a chill wave.

Don’t sweat it. I was confused too. Maybe I still am. But according to the internet and contrary to my Native American shaman—he is line with the whole ‘chill wave’ thing—chillwave is a genre. Though it appears to be as amorphous and as impossible to pin down as Romney. Is he conservative? Moderate? Whatever your feelings about the future of our country, chillwave exists, practiced and championed by groups like Neon Indian, Washed Out, and, of course, Toro Y Moi (Chazwick Bundick).

Now, I dig some of the tracks from the first two groups I mentioned, but Toro Y Moi just seems to do it better. Maybe that means I know nothing about chillwave, though I do surf occasionally if that counts for anything. But with “So Many Details,” Toro Y Moi, or Bundick if you want to get all formal and shit, does everything I look for when I stumble across something chillwave. Or maybe it’s just his particularly chill wave. I don’t know. Enough with the overwrought wordplay, Wayne might try to hire me for a ghostwriting position. (I might take it).

After a few listens, it’s clear that “So Many Details” is essentially the chillwave ethos, an audible manifesto, for the simple fact that so many different styles/genres/whathaveyou coalesce to make this track what it is. It’s funky. It’s pop. There are some boom-bap-eqsue drums. It’s R&B. It’s intimate. It’s ambient. And it’s electronic, if that word means anything to anyone today.

Basically, it’s the music Drake should make if he wants us to take him seriously. And even then, whose Young Money chain are we yanking? But yeah, listen to “So Many Details.” Bundick’s vocals are on point. The lyrics are tad sentimental, but do their job as far as remaining resonant. The bass line and the synths aren’t revolutionary, but they are undeniably funky. And the end of the song even gets a little wild.

So, is it good? Definitely. Is it mind blowing? No. It’s chillwave, man-dude-bro-fry. I think.

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