January 4, 2022
“Lo-Fi” is a favorite music genre of the millions of homework do-ers, tech community members, easy jam enthusiasts, and everyone in between. In the last couple years, it has seen a huge rise in popularity, and stations playing it or hosting live sessions have cropped up on all our favorite streaming spots. If you’ve been curious about Lo-Fi but haven’t gotten a chance to explore it, now’s your chance!
What is it?
Lo-Fi is a production quality for music (or really, audio) that includes obvious or intentional qualities that are usually considered imperfections. These may include misplayed notes, environmental noises (city noise, birds, dog barks, etc.), and “phonographic imperfections” (like a tape hiss or record crackle). Lo-Fi, in this sense, is a big part of the resurgence of tapes, records, and even 8-tracks. While there are musicians who focus on this style of music, a lot of what is popular at this moment is lo-fi hip hop or “chillhop.”
Lo-Fi hip hop really hit the scene in the 2010s and largely started out on YouTube. It’s a form of downtempo that blends elements of hip hop, chill music, and lo-fi. It’s been popular for several years but gained massive popularity during the lockdowns and mass shift to work from home in 2020. Since starting out on YouTube, it has expanded into playlists and stations across most popular streaming music platforms and even Discord.
Listeners flock to lo-fi largely because of its relaxing beats and familiar sounds (even if they can’t be easily placed). The music classified as lo-fi usually crosses genres and borrows themes, beats, sounds, etc., from all forms of music and day-to-day life and combines it in a way that soothes a racing mind. Others are drawn to it because it offers a music experience that is closer to modern music but without the words to distract (kind of like how people use classical music to study); these folks often have it playing while they work or study.
Where can you find it?
It’s surprisingly easy to get your hands (ears?) on all kinds of lo-fi or chill music selections. Here are some of the more popular options:
- Freegal Music – A most awesome library resource, search for lo-fi or chill and you’ll find lots!
- YouTube – Lofi Girl is one of the most popular and “original” artists, but there are many others.
- Spotify – Lofi Girl is here too, as well as tons of other artists. There are a bunch of playlists too.
- Pandora – There are several stations and playlists to choose from as well as individual artists.
- Amazon Music – You’ll find all kinds of lo-fi artists, playlists, and stations to choose from.
- Discord – Search the public servers for music and you’ll find Lofi Girl and several others.
So, get out there and find your favorite chill artists to listen to while you study or work! If you’re interested in learning more, you can find more information about lo-fi in the Library’s collection and online resources!
Consumer Technology Specialist
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