Second Royal Records really has flipped for beach-ready music. The latest sorta-chillwave artist to find sanctuary at the Kyoto label is Subtle Control, who appears on the forthcoming Second Royal Vol. 6 compilation with his song…and his only one at the moment…”Too Young.” It features the same stretched out guitar notes that have become synonymous with hanging out by the ocean and a general peaced-out vibe oh so prevalent in this type of blog-friendly music. See that vintage photo at the top? It’s Subtle Control’s background image on MySpace, and just another chillwave signifier.
Of course, dismissing music just because it happens to be easily lumped in with a niche you can’t escape online is pretty stupid. Plenty of really great artists and songs have emerged out of chillwave…heck, a fair chunk of Second Royal’s entrants sound great, especially trendsetters Hotel Mexico. Following in that tradition, “Too Young” just happens to be a very sweet bonfire folk song existing in a time when so much of this stuff comes out it sometimes gets overbearing. Subtle Control sound like label mate Friends if the latter didn’t dust his recordings in cheap analog fuzz – “Too Young” comes out clear and sounds extra pretty as a result. Control’s voice glides by, lending “Too Young” a touch of innocence. Yes, this definitely taps into nostalgic feelings but isn’t a cardboard cutout. Second Royal has a good ear for this stuff. Listen here.
(Oh, another plus going for Subtle Control – this might very well be a side project from one of the members of Turntable Films. Control’s MySpace links to a Twitter account that just happens to be Turntable Films so…maybe? Considering all the excellent pop that group has turned out, I’m not shocked “Too Young” comes stacked with easy Beach Boys’ comparisons. Or…I could be wrong. It’s a solid tune either way go listen.)