Sunflower Soundtrack: ‘Slide’ by George Clanton

It’s easy to forget that at the core of Vaporwave is pop music. Riding the line between internet meme and music genre, Vaporwave is mostly known for its ghostly MTV visual aesthetic.

The music itself is built on vintage pop hits warped to the edge of recognition; they’re often pitch-shifted, glitched out, and slowed down into new sonic creations. It was only a matter of time before an artist came along and took the faded synthesizers and sprawling melodies of Vaporwave and worked backwards toward pop music.

After a number of instrumental Vaporwave LP’s under the ESPIRIT空想 and Mirror Kisses monikors, George Clanton is now releasing pop records under his own name. While debut “100% Electronica was an excellent first foray into enchanting, fuzzy synthpop, sophomore record Slide finds Clanton writing bolder, more varied songs.

Here, his majestic pop epics contrast with stripped-down tracks like “Monster,” a melancholic lullaby anchored by rattling hi hats. Equally lovely are the brother-sister tracks “Make It Forever” and “You Lost Me There,” whose lyrical similarities complement each other beautifully over a large energy gap.

While the epic beauty of “100% Electronica” is very much intact here, “Slide boasts a greater range of arrangements, production choices, and song structures. Clanton’s voice, better here than ever, is also granted more room to shine. Slide is the work of an artist improving on all fronts. It’s certainly proof that a musician can look backwards for aesthetic inspiration to move relentlessly into the future.


Rating: *Certified Sunny*