They call it “chillwave,” a term that has come to define this style of electronica meets psychidelia. The term is fitting, and of late has come to encompass a different side of beach-style pop thanks to the various effects and loops involved. It’s all quite hypnotic. I think the first band fitting the bill (the bill being beach-worthy chillwave) I really got into was Washed Out. Neon Indian followed, but with more experimentation. So the style has become prevalent of late, and Seattle band Beat Connection has created its own style somewhere between those to aforementioned bands.
The band released Surf Noir as a free digital EP last year, and it’s now getting a physical release thanks to Tender Age. Surf Noir flip flops between dreamy instrumental soundscapes and hypnotic, loopy songs with dance-worthy vocal melodies. This is heard as early as the first two songs; “Sunburn” has vocals, but they are nondescript and more a complement to the effect-ridden instrumentation while “In The Water” is filled with pop sensibilities, vocals included.
Beat Connection play it well, never causing songs to seemingly dis-join from one another. This is because many of the loops the band incorporates include a hint of vocals, as found in “Theme From Yours Truly” and “Motorway”. And that’s what makes Surf Noir really good. All these songs, excellent in composition from start to end. Yet its “In The Water” and “Silver Screen”, the two songs that appear to include Beat Connection original vocals (although the former may be sampled, the latter features Tom Eddy), that allow the band to shine brightest.
Tender Age [CDEP, 2011]
2. In The Water
4. Theme From Yours Truly
5. Fresh Touch
6. Silver Screen
8. Same Damn Time