Recommended Listening: Lifeformed

Posted: by Ethan



Sometimes when I get home from work, I want to lay down on my bed, turn the lights down low, and listen to music that will carry me into obscurity. Just zone out like the protagonist in any indie movie when they’re experiencing an existential crisis. The problem with that is we are not all Zach Braff and most of us have *shudder* ‘adult’ responsibilities. We do not have the luxury of ignoring life’s unrelenting stress roller coaster. Luckily, there are artists who provide means of escapism from our often tumultuous lives. Enter, Lifeformed.

Terence Lee, also known as Lifeformed, is a chillwave/electronic artist based out of Portland, Oregon. His tunes are prolific as far as electronic goes, moving fluidly from upbeat, hip-hop rhythms, to slow burning soundscapes that make you want to lay on a Tempur-Pedic in a warm bath. Nice, right?  The electronic genre, in my opinion, has more shit than gold, and Lifeformed is an absolute gem.

I first heard Lifeformed when I was watching the Double Fine Adventure documentary series. The documentary itself is incredible and I heavily recommend giving it a chance if you have any affinity for video games, but the soundtrack stole the show. The music commented wonderfully on the situations happening on screen, melding each scene into the next without ever missing a beat. It got to the point where I was listening to the intro and outro of each episode on repeat. Admittedly, my neanderthal mentality failed to realize the internet’s utility in facilitating your search for the things you enjoy. Once I came to sense, I quickly inserted a half-hearted search into Google that went something like, “What’s that one band in the documentary about video games?”

I found Lifeformed’s bandcamp, and he has not left my playlist ever since.

Fortunately, he has two bulky albums that are bursting with hits. It’s difficult to label chillwave songs as “hits” considering they tend to be more subdued, but if I were to base my criteria off the traditional definition, these albums definitely have the hits. (I have now used the word “hits” more times than my comfort level permits.) As mentioned before, Lifeformed writes beautiful, eclectic songs. There is something for everyone, not solely electronic fans. Listening to the albums in full, your ears will constantly be dealt a wide variety of sounds. Bass heavy tracks blend into whimsical, light-hearted tones, which morph into morose piano based beats. It’s a tonal dream, throwing around your emotions like that damn Carly Rae Jepsen album.

Tracks such as “Sun Bleach” – which is the theme at the beginning of every episode for the Double Fine Adventure series – sink into your skin. Whatever tension you have acquired throughout the day quickly leaves the body, a truly impressive feat given the amount of stress we can carry at one time. But Lifeformed’s songs are not just alleviating – they are catchy as hell. “Run, Don’t Walk” off his album Immerse – which, quite frankly, is a wonderfully apt title given the trance it will put you in – is particularly hypnotic in its ability to keep you coming back for more. There is something special about Lifeformed, I am tellin’ ya.

I can talk your ear off all day long, but now you should head on over and give the guy a listen. I can almost guarantee you will not regret it. For those looking for outlets to decompress, you have definitely come to the right place. Lifeformed has two albums and two singles available on his bandcamp, all of which are solid as hell. Not sold? Well, mosey on down below and check out “Light Pollution” off Fastfall and see for yourself.