Electronic Music Wiki

Chillwave is a microgenre that appeared in the late 2000's. The genre relied heavily on nostalgic feelings, which led to it becoming unpopular with artists, and its decline in 2011.


The term chillwave can be associated to a July 2009 post by "Carles", the manager of the blog Hipster Runoff. The blog was known for its ironic posts on new trends. He used the term to describe a host of rising bands, all similar to each other. The genre didn't gain mainstream until 2009, marked "the Summer of Chillwave", for a plethora of artists releasing chillwave.


Chillwave's decline came in mid-2010, the same time it reached its peak. At this point, too many artists were doing it, and critics were running out of words to praise them with. In 2015, the majority consensus was that chillwave was a fabricated non-genre. Many critics assert, however, that it's worth examining, because its simple existence "says far more about a music generation than the music itself ever did."


Chillwave is characterized by a faded/dreamy pop sound, escapist lyrics about the beach, psychedelic/lo-fi asthetic, mellow vocals, low tempos, lots of reverb, and vintage synths. It's a loose emulation of 80's electropop, and associates itself with nostalgia and memory.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chillwave