What’s that Genre? #1: Dolewave

If there’s one thing that never ceases to entertain us here at Tracks & Fields, it’s the bizarre and often obtuse ways some artists, labels, publishers and publicists qualify their music through genres. It seems as if every three months a newly coined genre goes from being a gag to a fully fledged music category, so much so that often it feels impossible to keep up. Therefore we thought we’d make it easier on you by profiling some of the genres sitting outside of the regular Rock, Pop, Electronic spectrum.

As there are two Aussies currently working at Tracks & Fields, we thought we’d kick things off with one of the more obscure genres to come out of the antipodes in recent years: Dolewave. The name Dolewave is derived from the British colonial slang term for social welfare ‘the dole’. With the music characterised by a distinct lack of frivolity and being stripped back to it’s bare essentials it’s easy to see how the genre adopted its name.

Following in the vein of the sardonic wit and jangling guitars of 80’s Australian outfit The Go-Betweens, a new generation of bands begun to emerge at the close of the noughties. Rising from share-houses, warehouses and questionable pubs these bands were characterised by their no frills approach. The production is dry and lo-fi to the point of it basically resembling a live recording. Visually the aesthetic is that there is no aesthetic, the appearance is that of the every-day. While vocally and instrumentally the songs are delivered with lackadaisical charm, and a keen pop sensibility, with lyrical themes recalling the romantic in the mundane. At first listen it sounds very much like 90’s slacker rock performed with the carefree attitude so often attributed to Australians. While the overall aesthetic recalls something of a lighter grunge or less stylised punk.

Listen to: Dick Diver, Twerps, The Ocean Party, Bitch Prefect, Bed Wetting Bad Boys


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