Is Todd Rundgren the main inspiration behind the chillwave micro-genre?

Todd Rundgren
To be fair, Rundgren IS pretty chill

Pitchfork recently posted a new single by San-Diego-based chillwave act TV Girl that caught our attention. (More on why in just a moment.)

Of course, it was only last October that chillwave champion Neon Indian turned more than a few heads with the release of its debut LP, Psychic Chasms. One of those heads (or many of them—depending on whether you view the music website as a singular entity or a mythical, multiple-headed beast along the lines of a Hydra*) belonged to Pitchfork, which placed the track “Deadbeat Summer” at No. 13 in its Top 100 Tracks Of 2009 list. “Deadbeat Summer,” as you might recall, kicks off with an unmistakable sample from Todd Rundgren’s 1974 song, “Izzat Love”—which only added more fuel to the “Are sample-based songs real music or cheap rip-offs from uncreative hacks?” fire.

Frankly, we’re not very interested in getting into that debate right now, mostly because we’re too busy listening to this TV Girl single (“If You Want It”), which—you guessed it—features yet another sample from the Upper-Darby-born Todd Rundgren. This time, it’s his classic 1968 song “Hello It’s Me,” whose opening riff pretty much serves as the basis for the entire TV Girl track. Now, we aren’t going to question why certain songs from the soft-rock-side of Rundgren’s career are so appealing to the current crop of chillwave bands out there—because, honestly, it makes total sense to us. What we do want to know, however, is which Rundgren-inspired song will be the chillwave hit of October 2011? (Assuming the genre is still around a year from now, which we don’t expect it to be.)!

*Ed note: But wait, even if a Hydra has multiple heads—each capable of independent thought—doesn’t the hive-minded beast still count as one singular entity? (It must, seeing as how we called it “a beast” and not “beasts”.) More importantly, what would a Hydra think of chillwave bands using Todd Rundgren samples?



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