Is Simpsonwave a Real Thing?
One thing’s for sure, though: it’s hella cool.
Image via Youtube
The longest-running animated sitcom in the world, The Simpsons, has inspired a dance music micro-genre... or has it?
As The Verge writes, Simpsonwave is the newest sound birthed of the –wave family, which includes chillwave and vaporwave, the latter THUMP described in 2013 as a "Tumblr-spawned micro-genre that's obsessed with Geocities graphics and spacey electronic music" in the vein of seapunk. Simpsonwave is similar to that, but it involves layering samples of the show's dialogue over vaporwave, along with tripped-out series footage that, even if you're not a fan of the show itself, is actually pretty interesting in a nostalgic, soothing way—almost like background music for deep thinking.
According to Know Your Meme, the first video popped up in October 2015, when Vine user Spicster posted a clip from the series overlain by chillwave artist HOME's "Resonance." To date, the Vine has nearly 22.5 million loops. Now, Simpsonwave has flooded YouTube and has its own Reddit thread with angsty, spaced-out titles like "C R I S I S," "ＢＡＲＴ ＳＡＤ シンプソンズ," and "F I N D Y O U R S E L F."
"I honestly thought Simpsonwave was a joke," said YouTuber Sam Sutherland, aka This Exists, at the start of his recently-uploaded video, "Is S I M P S O N W A V E a joke?" "Then I was like, 'Is Simpsonwave not a joke?' Now I'm like, 'Simpsonwave is not a joke. Probably.'" He actually gives a pretty good rundown of the micro-genre, describing it as a product of "the ever-growing virus that is vaporwave" that was "birthed out into the millennial child wonderment that is known as early 90s primetime television." Said to have roots in meme and mashup culture—a la Soundclown—Sutherland posits that Simpsonwave might actually have more meaning than we think.
"There's something to be said about an emotional resonance being added to a genre of music [vaporwave] that exists specifically to mock the commercial and corporate vibe of mall-type music."