Tidelines ‘Gaze (Remix)’

Olivia here. Does anybody else still listen to vaporwave? Just me? I’m fully aware it moved in and out of that elusive band of ‘it’ on the coolness spectrum in the space of a few months in early 2010, so I am fully aware it’s not ‘in’ anymore (and hasn’t been for about 5 years). But something about the music and the entire aesthetic of it means I keep going back for more; in many ways, it fulfils many of my requirements of enjoyable music. The hauntology of it in particular is fascinating; the use of retro synths, the sampling of 80’s pop songs, and the chopped and screwed beats are intriguing on their own, never mind the visual aspects of the genre, including the use of pixelated 90’s web design, Japanese Kanji symbols, classical sculpture and the repurposing of old cartoons (you don’t have to look far to find one of the many brilliant Simpson’s based videos on Youtube – which has become a genre in its own right, ‘Simpsonwave’). It’s dark, it’s glitchy, and the tracks are strangely emotive, perhaps as a result of its hauntological nature tapping into our naturally nostalgic brains.  Some have even suggested that the repurposing and degradation of commercial music, animation, and imagery is a representation of the falsehoods of the capitalist dream. In any case, there’s definitely a sense of ‘otherness’ that permeates this aesthetic, perhaps due in part to its emergence through internet chat rooms – teenagers and young adults in their bedrooms trying to make sense of the technological age and the never-ending pandemic of 90’s nostalgia. Whatever you get (or don’t get) from this music, the subgenre well and truly died when MTV tried to jump on the bandwagon, as is the death-knell for many a cool music movement . Which means that internet losers like me need to find more contemporary artists to listen to. Enter South-East London duo Tidelines, whose achingly cool blend of retro synths, chopped and screwed beats, and RnB tinged vocals feels like a fresh update on the vaporwave sound. Having recently released new single ‘Gaze’ the alt pop band are going from strength to strength, drawing on an unusual palette of sounds and influences to create an immersive blend of pop, ambient, and electronica. Fans of Little Dragon will particularly appreciate lead singer Niomí’s lighter than air vocal. Following the release of Gaze, the band have released a brand new remix of the track, taking it to darker depths, with intricate beats, effected vocals, and a hazy soundscape. Stick in your headphones, sit back, and enjoy.

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