Alternative & Chill-Pop
Alternative has always been a mainstay with me. It’s a slapdash of everything, the best of rock, pop, electronica, synth-pop, hip-hop and just about whatever it needs to hold your attention and lift your heart. A veritable delicious stew where you can’t figure out where one genre starts and the other ends. It’s just brilliant. If you’ve got a hankering for some quality soul and funk instead, check out my previous post here.
Since alternative is such a broad category, I’m going to switch it up a little with future Sharing The Goodness posts. Alternative and electronica or alternative and jazz, for example, are likely candidates for the future! ‘Til then, let’s take a look at the smooth and more relaxed end of things — alternative and chill-pop.
Double-feature time! I found this band pretty recently while browsing different playlists. With the political landscape getting more hectic by the second, I am in a constant need for something to slow down my heart rate and put me in a better headspace. Polographia’s fantastic old-school melodies and delightfully relaxed approach have since weaseled their way into my own ongoing playlists and I don’t think they’ll be leaving any time soon.
Don’t confuse relaxed with boring, however — their single ‘Sly’ has enough zest to get you moving, but is low-key enough to be as comfortable in a car radio while speeding down the highway as a temporary snooze on a warm beach. Alternative really is a little bit of everything! For those that want a solid first impression, ‘Sly’s throwback sound and vaporware music video are a prime place to start.
Who’s counting all the things you tried
Can’t remember how or why but in the end you’ve grown sly
Where ‘Sly’ is more groovy and hearkens to 80’s funk, ‘Feels Alright’ is distinctly modern in both its style and melody. You’re not exactly sure where this song is leading you, only that it’s catchy and happy as hell. Random pops, bells and twangs are littered throughout the composition, downright playful, and make this piece a real joy to listen to.
Artists that can switch up their sound while retaining a strong identity always get a few extra points in my book. It’s not easy to do, as one of the most (economically) viable ways of maintaining an audience is giving them something familiar to keep returning to. While it’s far from a deal-breaker for me when an artist experiments with a thousand different genres, I’ll acknowledge a happy balance when I see one!
Feel the transfer reflected and it showing
In the corners of my mind
Yeah, yeah. It’s winter. Pull on your sweater and cuddle up by the window with a cup of hot chocolate and all that. Fuck that, though, because this song feels like summer.
The hook is incredibly pleasant without being dull, a prime example of chill-pop with a lovable beat. While you only get to hear it twice (the song is a touch short), that’s nothing a few replays can’t solve. Every time I hear this I’m dragged kicking and screaming into a good mood, so the song gets extra points for that. (Unlike Whose Line Is It Anyway, the points do matter…despite my lack of a metric system.)
The lyrics are feel-good to the max and celebrate appreciating the little things — enjoying the sights, having fun with family, you name it. Take a break from stress yourself and give this one a listen or three.
Families at sea, what a lovely place to be
What a lovely place to be
A twinkling tune paired with blunt and lustful lyrics, this is a good piece for a good mood. I actually haven’t heard much from this band at all, but if their repertoire is anything like this I imagine I’ll have a new favorite on the horizon. The lead singer does a good job of ‘talk-singing’, not holding notes so much as musically speaking. It’s not as easy as it sounds and I’m always impressed when someone does it well.
It’s a casual song that explores the most base instincts when hooking up with a person, rather refreshing in its detail and standing out amidst competition that frequently touches on similar subject matter. The song switches up to Spanish in the outro, too, and is easily my favorite part of the piece.
I said fuck me and feed me
And I’ll be your diamond
I love songs that make me feel peaceful. I mean, genuinely so. The best way to describe ‘Hideaway’ is sweet, almost tender, without any of the schmaltz these adjectives could potentially conjure up. It discusses the feeling of finding a little corner of the world to call your own, be it with a friend or your own company, and discovering magic in the mundane. A room with dimmed lights, a porch in the rapidly darkening evening, a casual stroll downtown.
We all need time to get away from the world and craft our own little corner to hide away in, even if it’s just for a few minutes. I highly recommend you check out Cehryl’s lovely brand of acoustic and chill-pop, but until then ‘Hideaway’ will tide you over and in good fashion.
When an illusion that I want to love is coming close
To a sweet escape
Like any of the songs or bands on the list? Got some recommendations? Join me next week where I’ll do another round of indie and folk!