What is Lo-Fi, and why does it have such a mass appeal?
This popular genre has been listened to by millions across the world and many without knowing. It’s seen as a relaxing and soothing type of music, typically appreciated during moments of calm and concentration.
Lo-Fi can be expressed as a subcategory to genres like Jazz, Hip-Hop, and house, as it shares some similarities with them. It’s often described as ‘easy listening’ due to its simplistic and repetitive beats as well as the calm auras each Lo-Fi tune provides. It became much more well known through the iconic Lo-Fi girl, who is stuck in a constant studying loop while listening to relaxing Lo-Fi. The constant broadcast has accumulated over ten thousand hours and over nine million subscribers.
A distinguishing feature of Lo-Fi is the usage of samples from other songs, movies, real-life sounds, or even vocal sounds. Lo-Fi artists are economical with their music and use whatever sounds they can find or afford and were often labeled as ‘Bedroom musicians’, due to the low quality and masses amounts of imperfections found in their songs. Which of course, gives it its individual charm, as Lo-Fi embraces the imperfections and mistakes in music, it doesn’t discredit or disown those imperfect sections of the song.
A big contributing factor to its success lies within the advancement of technology, as social media and the world of streaming platforms like YouTube have promoted and made the genre more accessible and discoverable. As Lo-Fi is more economical and simplistic in comparison to other music genres, uploading tracks onto platforms like Spotify or YouTube is much easier for artists. A lot of Lo-Fi artists produce their music independently, so they’re not signed under a label as such, and it’s very unlikely their songs will be published as albums, instead they remain on the internet on more modern streaming platforms.
Each Lo-Fi song provides a different vibe and can trigger certain emotions and feelings.
'Swim' by Noflik and Sleepermane, gives off a more psychedelic vibe which also correlates with the song’s album cover on Spotify.
Listen To 'Swim' on Apple Music
It’s that sort of song you listen to on a drive through the countryside, with the sun’s rays glistening against miles upon miles of fields. As mentioned before, some tracks have voices over the beats, which gives an unusual sense of nostalgia.
“Coffee on the Beach” by Halberd does this with a static sound effect placed over the voice, it is then accompanied by the typical beat of a Lo-Fi track.
Listen To 'Coffee on the Beach' on Apple Music
These relaxing tracks are definitely a must for when you’re doing tasks that require concentration or if you just want to relax after a long strenuous day!