SONG TO DOWNLOAD: "Memories"
WHY THEM: Producer Noah Smith is a graphic-design student, so it makes sense that there is a visual element to the ways he cuts and pastes his downtempo electronics. Heavy with trip-hop influences, "Memories" sounds hazy and distant, yet warm and sincere. With a home-recorded mid-fi sheen, his songs take the main concepts of chillwave (reworking nostalgic sounds with updated, blessed-out beats) and turning them into a more timeless-sounding strain of electronic music. Since January 2010, he's mostly written and recorded music from his dorm room at Winthrop University — where he studies digital information design — using samples of obscure '50s and '60s pop and R&B, and occasionally his own voice. Hard Mix had a now-sold-out split seven-inch with the UK's Star Slinger via Double Denim Records, and now a free debut album Defaults, out on Dovecote Records — a label that might sound familiar to Bostonians, since they also release music by Hooray for Earth. For good measure, check out Hard Mix's remix of Hooray for Earth's "True Loves."
ALSO CONSIDERED: Coma Cinema — The bedroom pop project of Mat Cothran. Despite Coma Cinema hailing from the US, we first heard of him from Berlin-based blog No Fear of Pop. Ah, the Internet.