Folks really are crushing on Bryce Isbell's FUR as of late. And, this morning, the Dentonite has once again landed on Pitchfork--only, this time, his experimental electronic project garnered a full-on track review for "Clears Throat." And, the track from FUR's split EP with Detroit's Coyote Clean Up did pretty well. The verdict: an 8.
In the glowing review, which you can read here, Pitchfork scribe Larry Fitzmaurice drops the "glo-fi" genre tag on FUR before writing that Isbell "shares some of the same sonic predilections" of acts like Washed Out and Neon Indian. But, after Pete's post from yesterday citing The Guardian and others struggles to define FUR's sound--Witches incorporates influences of those chillwave acts with elements of ambient techno, downtempo and IDM--well, we decided that it was time to call Isbell to get his take on all the genre bending tags.
"Some were saying chillwave, others were calling it ambient techno or electro-trance," he says. "But what I really liked is what 20 Jazz Funk Greats called it, tundra-core. It's cold music for cold weather."
When Witches is imported into iTunes, though, the "genre" tag terms it as hauntology--which is a genre of music that apparently no longer exists (The Wikipedia link was apparently deleted yesterday, oddly enough. Check the Google cache if you want to learn more about the "library music" with a "vague sense of Cold War dread.") When asked, Isbell explains that the tag's meant as more of a nod to the style than his actual genre.
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"Yeah, for Witches, I put Hauntology as the description," he says. "I wanted some words to paint the picture, and it's seemed to work so far to convey the cold, eerie sound."
But FUR's music as a whole doesn't fall neatly under the banner of even Isbell's own hauntological tag.
"It's not really hauntological," he says. "The music is kind of all over the place. I think that's my style--all over the place--because I listen to all kinds of music. So I pull the influence from all over the place. So then I don't know what to call it. It's experimental, it's electronic, and it has some pop elements. So, I guess, it's instrumental, experimental, electronic pop."
So there you have it. The truth may not sound as cool as "glo-fi" or "hypnagogic pop" or as hip as "chill-wave." Or even as tounge-in-cheek as GorillaVsBearcore, unfortunately.