A couple of years ago when this whole DIY-chillwave business started it seemed like every half-talented musician with a bedroom had a go at it and released a handful “dreamy” songs. It was all fun and good but it seemed a bit difficult or overwhelming to detect the true brains in it all. So now, what started as “chillwave” has emerged into this fruitful genre and the truly talented musicians start showing.
Millionyoung was one of the first I reckon, at least his name has been floating around for some time. Also, it was reason enough for Pitchfork to slam his debut Replicants with a 3.8 rating back in February 2011 and declare the death of chillwave. Wrong. Just wrong, on so many levels. I still enjoy Replicants and chillwave as a tag might be dead but the music itself is very much alive. Still, any press is good press I guess.
So now Mike Diaz from Florida has released a new album entitled Variable and wow, sun-washed guitar lines, bouncy beats, dreamy vocals, it’s all there and it’s been on repeat here at Poule HQ. It’s an absolutely phenomenal album and a great leap forward – not only for him but also within this vast genre tagged “dreamy”. Attached is Lovin’ which is about THE girl you can’t get out of your head, pop song material wrapped into great smooth tunes. He says he listened to soul music a lot writing these songs and it probably shows most in Lovin’. But really it stretches throughout the whole album, a really perfect collection of post-chillwave or matured chillwave.
Variable might not sound like “much” and even simple at times but that right there is the hardest thing to accomplish. Underneath this simplicity does not lie the death of a genre but a true sense of honesty and ingenuity. It’s a deep simplicity that stems from knowing the essence of it.
Variable is out now on Old Flame Records.