Friday, August 30, 2013

Noteworthy Lo-fi Artists: Summer Heart and Washed Out

I remember the good old days when music genres consisted of simple terms, tunes, and time signatures, when a song was either just called rock, pop, country or rap. We probably also walked miles to school in bare feet and came home to do farm work, because those days are thing of the past. Easily defined genres---along with my high-school CD collection---are merely archaic things of the past. Now we have new wave, synth pop, lo-fi, hi-fi, trip hop, acid jazz, hipster and indie...on and on and on it goes. Confused yet? I actually enjoy this musical mash-up of genres and sounds, because some truly great bands have emerged under this kaleidoscope banner of music. And let's face it, music has always been a reflection of society. We ourselves are a kaleidoscope of so many ideas, philosophies, and dreams so why shouldn't our music be the same way?

I really love the hipster-esque music scene. While living in NYC, I spent a lot of time hitting underground music venues and trendy dives, but tragically, I really can't pull off either hipster, emo, or indie at all. I've never owned a pair of Converse shoes, but I have a vast display of lovely sky-high heels that I love as dearly as some people love their children or puppy dogs. My heart is that of a hipster-emo-indie kid though, so that should count for something, somewhere to someone. The lo-fi bands have really been singing to my alternatively tuned heart, and two bands I'm feeling extra amounts of love for are Summer Heart and Washed Out.

Summer Heart has a relaxing, dream pop vibe combined with lush, mellow vocals. I didn't really realize vocals could be lush/mellow until listening to this band, but they CAN, my friend! They can! I know. Get a mellow way, of course. Track after track is so chill it's cool (I was told by my student to include this phrase, and I responded I would, if he practiced an hour a day. Promised honored, now practice some more my little minion!) and is great easy listening music. It's been my go to playlist while I'm cooking up new recipes or relaxing with a book.

Washed Out also falls into the dream pop/chill wave category (who comes up with these genres, I ask of you?) and they do their genre well. Lead singer Ernest Greene, a native to Georgia, earned a masters in Library and Information Science (yes, it is a degree, and I'm sure you're all clambering to sign up for that major), but failed to get a job. So, he decided to start a lo-fi band, which seems both like a the logical alternative to being a librarian and a very Georgean if you know what I mean. That's called sarcasm, kids. But hooray that he did, because Washed Out is pretty fabulous! He released Within and Without in 2011 and has a new album Paracosm that was just released THIS MONTH and was featured as a give-away on our facebook page! Yes I am excited! No I don't know what a Paracosm is!  My dictionary says it's an imaginary world. Like Narnia---which is debatable fictional. I prefer to believe my walk-in closet might hold a magic world in addition to my mini-empire of clothes and shoes.

New to the lo-fi scene? Sample it here and don't forget to find us on facebookinstagramor bloglovin to keep up with the latest! 


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