Chillwave and dream-pop: two genres typically thrown around when describing Mike Diaz, aka MillionYoung. Compared to Toro y Moi and Blackbird Blackbird, I assumed that Diaz would serve up more of the same on his new full-length release coming out tomorrow. Surprise willingly enveloped me when Replicants threw out a well of depth and maturity not necessarily present on the previous two EPs from 2009 and 2010, SunnDreamm and Be So True.
The permeating chillwave sound and influence still meanders through the track list, exerting its presence with nostalgic synths and dreamlike vocals. However, there are many new noticeable influences, drawing upon flirtatious dance beats begging to be remixed, an idealistic 1960s vibe, and upbeat jazzy disco sounds blasting through the speakers.
Standouts for me include “On On,” which I hope will be taking over the blogosphere with remixes from all our favorite DJs; title track “Replicants,” featured last week as Indie Shuffle’s Song of the Day; “Calrissian,” which makes me feel as though I’m sipping milkshakes in 1960 with George McFly in Back to the Future; and “Sentimental,” which is reminiscent of one of my all-time favorite duos, Royksopp.
The leap that this album makes from its predecessors is truly invigorating, and I can’t wait to see what is next to come. Certainly, Diaz has proved with this release that we’ve only heard a fraction of what MillionYoung has to offer. My only fear is that Diaz won’t be back on tour soon enough. He recently came off the road just before Christmas while presumably finishing up this album, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. That being said, I’m grateful MillionYoung is breaking the bondage of the chillwave genre as it does not even begin to encompass the varied sounds produced on Replicants.