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The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf

The Student News Site of Tualatin High School

The Wolf


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Evelyn Rusnac
Staff Writer

Slowcore hints at current cultural position

Photo by Olivia Beauchemin

At a Duster concert last July, I struggled to find a single person over the age of 21. But how could Duster, a band whose tone-setting album Stratosphere, which came out in the late ‘90s, have attracted a demographic of high school and college students born in the early 2000s? 

The answer lies in the band and its overarching genres’ heavy resonance with people my age, a fact not only seen in the concertgoers, but also in the “Slowcore” genre’s current popularity.

Made up of artists like Sign Crushes Motorist, Birth Day, and local Portland group Fox Academy, and haunted by spectres of ‘90s shoegaze, and early 2000s Dream Pop, Slowcore has captured millions of younger listeners, all similarly enticed by its dejected and melancholic musical atmosphere.

Generation Z’s music isn’t full of the same spirit that occupied the previous generation-defining genres. Instead of high energy, loud vocals or fast-paced production, all working in revolt against some common enemy, this music exhibits the complete opposite features. The issues prompting its creation and popularity seem to have in some part successfully defeated us, its targets, resurfacing in our cultural productions with residue signaling the loss.

If 1960s and ‘70s rock was a reflection of kids finding problems in their parents, culture, societies, entrenched traditions, views, and expectations, and 1980s punk and ‘90s grunge was a more militant, organized and directed version of those critiques, then Slowcore can be seen as the third iteration of this rebellion; while still containing the familiar strands of restless angst, future dread and indefinable disappointment, Slowcore now adds the new element of hopelessness.

Clear in the media that mirrors it, many seem to have simply given up. What was once a complex understanding of various problems and later an active resistance against these formless – often exaggerated – enemies, has now been replaced with an awareness that internalized the former understanding while rejecting the latters’ attempts to change it.

While the reasons for this felt defeat are varied and unending – and no doubt topics I have strong opinions on – the more important task is to first reject the main premise that sprouts from it. The struggles today should in no way overwhelm or thwart us, the best agents for changing them. Instead, the felt issues should motivate us in a sense similar to previous generations; we should continue to find renewed energy and ability to create better futures, and our music will hopefully soon reflect this again.

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About the Contributor
Liam Frith
Liam Frith, Entertainment Editor
Hi, my name is Liam and I'm a junior. This is my first year on staff. I joined The Wolf because I enjoy writing and would love to contribute to our school paper. In my free time I like to skateboard, read, and listen to music.

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