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New Genre Alert: TUWDSSHSWAI!

By Nyle Emerson & Jeremy Young

Here at Soundfly, we’re always looking for the next big thing — the next wave of popular music bubbling up to the surface from the underground. But every now and then, a new genre pops up that’s been right under our noses for years, it’s familiar and yet foreign, graspable but mysterious, and it may just have never had time to coagulate and settle.

Today, we bring you that new genre. Today, we bring you:

TUWDSSHSWAI

(a.k.a., Two Unshaven White Dudes with Short Swooped Hair and Singers Who Aren’t Important)

In case you’re wondering how to pronounce it (isn’t it obvious?!), you can try mouthing out something in three syllables, like: “tood shh sway!”

We’ve all had the experience lately of finding ourselves dancing along to a production-heavy, indie-electro-pop-dance fusion track with a dope vocalist and thinking to ourselves, “I wonder who sings this…” It’s a varied genre — the songs can be upbeat and dancey, or melancholy and reflective. They’re often quite nuanced and interesting. But one thing binds them indelibly together — when you pull up Shazam, you find that the song is not credited to a singer… but rather, to two producers. And they tend to have a few aesthetic elements in common. We’re all for producers coming out of the shadows and taking a starring role in their productions, but we were left wondering — what do we call this music? The answer… #TUWDSSHSWAI.

So what can listeners expect from this genre? Well, the name kind of speaks for itself. But also, you’re gonna get your samplers, your electronic drums, your swanky digital synths run through the kind of jealousy-inducing live laptop rigs that would make your mouth water. You’re going to hear impressive, professional-level mixing and production, despite the indie nature of these groups.

And, you’ll get some visual cues along with it: the handsome fresh faces of a couple young dudes with perfect flowing hairdos, some all-black outfits, controlled pulsing to the music, and typically a female singer featured on the track, but she’s generally a later addition. (The “SWAI” part of TUWDSSHSWAI is not to say that the vocalist doesn’t matter, simply that they aren’t a permanent member of the band. They’re just a visitor to this well-coifed production.)

Let’s explore.

Fully TUWDSSHSWAI

Brasstracks

Gorgon City

HONNE

ODESZA

The Chainsmokers

Bondax

Disclosure

Air

On the fence, not quite there yet…

Simian Mobile Disco

Not quite unshaved enough for our liking…

clipping.

The rapper is technically part of the band, so that unfortunately disqualifies this great group from TUWDSSHSWAI participation, but my God, that hair!

Violents

It’s really just one white guy with swooped hair, and the singer is actually pretty important.

1Mind

This project is actually three producers, and they love shaving.

Miike Snow

Miike Snow have epic swoopiness, they were a hard act to cut, but sadly the singer’s importance is just too strong here.

Did we miss any of your #TUWDSSHSWAI faves? Let us know in the comments, please!

To learn about modern mixing and production techniques (like EQ, Compression, Level, Pan Setting, Digital Signal Processing, FX Sends, and so much more) from some of today’s leading sound engineers, preview Soundfly’s newest and most in-depth mentorship-assisted online mixing courses, Faders Up I & II: Modern Mix Techniques and Advanced Mix Techniques, for free today!

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Soundfly Team

Soundfly is a new kind of music school for today's musician. We create creative courses and daily articles for the curious musician. Meet the whole Soundfly Team here.