By now, most people have heard a thing or two about chillwave. Its signature lo-fi sound and dreamy melodies has spawned many haters but equally as many lovers. The genre caught on like wildfire in 2009, igniting a plethora of do-it-yourself bands and fans all over the country, and is still around today. Artists fed off each other by sharing techniques, and even covering and remixing each other’s songs. For those who enjoyed it, the summery sound was the perfect background for hot days and the steamy, dark night.On top of musicians already struggling to provide an entertaining show of a man and his laptop, critics complained that anyone could make music on a computer. These challenges prompted acts such as Toro Y Moi, Washed Out, and Coral Springs’ Millionyoung to make some changes. South Carolina’s Toro y Moi has since added members to his live performances, and now Millionyoung tours with a band. But why? Why the shift instead of pleasing your fans?
One of the hallmarks of the sound of chillwave is the sense of nostalgia it evokes. Despite the fact that it is (or was) entirely made digitally, its sound is very much analog. The feeling like you’re listening to something old and grainy takes you back and kind of away from reality. Throwing a band into the mix seems somewhat counterintuitive.
Though he’s had a couple dozen other songs and remixes, Millionyoung’s first full-length, Replicants, dropped last week. It features actually recorded instruments with a slightly different style, which seems to be less lyrics and less energy. Below are two songs, pre- and post- “band”. You be the judge: would you prefer your own personal shower of glittery nostalgia, or a full band with a more polished sound?
Millionyoung – Hammock (from The Sundreamm EP, 2010. Download for FREE on millionyoung.com)
Millionyoung – Gravity Feels (from Replicants, 2011)