Word just came down the pipeline that two of this decade's hottest acts will be popping in on April 28: Baltimore's delectably smooth dream-pop duo Beach House and Georgia's one-man "chillwave" tunesmith Washed Out. Before we get to just who in the hell these two bands are and whether or not the genre monikers assigned to them are even remotely appropriate, let's get the logistics out of the way. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of, and you can purchase them here beginning Friday at 10 a.m. Mercy Lounge impresario Drew Mischke would like you to know that you can RSVP at the Facebook page for this event.
Now, while Beach House is hardly rough-hewn, warped-sounding or loop-centric enough to be grouped with bands like Washed Out, Neon Indian, Toro y Moi and Memory Tapes, I will tell you that their forthcoming record Teen Dream (out Jan. 26) features some pretty damn intoxicating ethereal pop tunes. Washed Out, on the other hand, are at the cutting edge of this allegedly "new" movement (i.e. "glo-fi," "chillwave," "hypnagogic pop")--a movement that Hipster Runoff's Carles has now declared "TweenStream" thanks to Demi Lovato's tweeting.
Let's be honest: Glo-fi/chillwave is absolutely ridiculous. Maybe not the artists (or at least some of them), but the semantics and insular nature of the whole thing pretty much scream, "This could very well be dated and embarrassing in about two years." What's more, the music itself isn't anything new. Only the moniker. After checking out Neon Indian recently, our very own Tracy Moore said to me, "This is new? If this is 'chillwave' then what the hell is Ariel Pink?" I'll tell you what Ariel Pink is: It's chillwave back when chillwave was called "freak folk."
My point? Pop music, like most other facets of pop culture, is cyclical. Whether it's Afro-pop revival, garage-rock revival, post-punk revival, psych-rock revival or lo-fi synthpop revival, it's been done (at least to some degree) before. That certainly isn't to say that originality has completely vanished from the modern landscape. It only means that when you hear of a brand-new, hot-ticket genre that has allegedly not existed until just this month, be wary. Somebody else probably did it nine years ago, only it wasn't as cool then.
Music-snob-flavored, moniker-related rambling aside, this show will probably be a good one. So go. That is, if you like neo-psychedelic dream-pop (
Cocteau Twins Beach House) and lo-fi electro-pop ( Ariel Pink Washed Out).