Updated: Oct 9, 2020
Nowadays, new music trends develop quickly, suddenly appearing on different platforms and streaming services. We've taken it upon ourselves to unearth these trends and bring them to light, so you can stay ahead on what's next in music.
THE TREND: Slowed and reverb tracks are tracks that have been altered in two ways. They have been slowed down, and reverb, described basically as an echo, has been applied to the track. Listeners are addicted to their relaxing vibes and soothing, cinematic echos. These tracks have gained popularity all over apps and platforms like Youtube, Soundcloud, Tiktok, and even Spotify. These tracks have a relatively small following compared to mainstream music standards, but they hold their own.
WHAT THE NUMBERS SAY: A slowed and reverb remix of Don Toliver’s “No Idea” gained over 6.8 million views on Youtube. A similar remix of Lil Uzi Vert’s “20 Min” has garnered about 17 million views. Following suit, a slowed and reverb remix of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” has over 10 million views.
Though Soundcloud has a smaller following than Youtube, the results from our initial search were still impressive. A slowed and reverb remix of Drake’s “Doing It Wrong” has 1.48 million streams, 31.1 thousand likes and almost 1000 comments on the track. There seems to be a never-ending database of slowed and reverb tracks on Soundcloud. Constantly updated, there are producers all over the world uploading these. Just three days after Tiny Meat Gang’s release of “Sophia” on October 2nd, there was a slowed and reverb remix of the track. The Soundcloud remix currently has almost 7 thousand streams.
The trend has also popped up on Tik Tok. The most popular example is a new Tik Tok trend featuring a slowed and reverbed remix of "Lemonade" by Internet Money. There are over 2.1 million videos using the sound and the trend has just reached it's peak. It is safe to say that this won't be the last example of slowed and reverb tracks on Tik Tok.
THE SECRET BEHIND THE POPULARITY: Listeners are drawn to this trend for many reasons, the most popular being the emotions the songs evoke. Slowed and reverb tracks are characteristically slow, removing any emphasis on the beat which allows a song's melancholic lyrics to take over. The combination of prominent, echoing vocals and sad lyrics creates the perfect storm of emotions for listeners.
This idea rides the coat tails of "in my feels" playlists, which group songs for an overall feeling. Now, with slowed and reverb tracks, these songs are able to isolate and intensify emotions. If a song isn't intrinsically sad, the slowed and reverb effect will just create a mellow soundscape for listeners to relax to. This has also been popularized by lofi music. Lower vocals, due to the slowed effect, can be less distracting to listeners, allowing them to slip into a more pensive state. The reverb effect continues to play off that effect by removing any harsh transitions in the song with it's echoes. Listeners are drawn to this calm, soothing music when they need to reflect, breathe, or focus.
The best example of the slowed and reverb trend is the huge collection of Frank Ocean remixes. The artist has a cult following thanks to his deep lyrics, angelic voice, and attention to detail. The slowed and reverb remixes heighten the already addicting and soothing tracks, deepening Ocean's voice and showcasing his lyrics, making the tracks almost as popular as the original.
THE INVOLVED GENRES: Almost every genre has been inducted into the ever growing slowed and reverb collection. However, the most popular genres seem to be hip-hop and R&B. Male artists are more prominent in the slowed and reverb trend due to their low vocal ranges, which intensify as the track slows down.
So, what does this mean for mainstream music? There's no discounting the addictive qualities of slowed and reverbed tracks. As listeners, we can only hope that the industry as a whole recognizes this trend and encourages producers and engineers to adopt the technique. Though using reverb in music isn't new, this dynamic duo of effects has yet to reach it's full potential. Check out some of our favorite remixed tracks here.