Chillwave Chillzone: Giraffage – ‘Make You Love Me’

Posted: by Ethan

As I walked to work today, trudging through the seemingly endless torrent of heat and humidity that left me feeling like I was being slowly dipped into a crock pot filled with unnaturally tepid water, and noticing the deluge of pedestrians tacitly fixated on the Squirtle they were attempting to capture in Pokemon Go, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed. My agitation predominantly stemmed from my failure to both find and capture an Eevee, but the rest of my exasperation was purely because I was on my way to work and not embarking on my journey to become the very best with the rest of them.  When I got to my office, I plopped myself into my chair, sighed for what felt like five minutes, and immediately started angrily listening to music. Initially, I didn’t know what to listen to, so I went with my go-to, feel-good jams: Giraffage, specifically the song “Make You Love Me”. Slowly, my agitation dissipated, and now, as I am writing this, I am realizing how wonderful the song is.

I know I talk about Giraffage frequently – like, a lot – but there is a reason for that: he creates some of the most original, consistently stellar chillwave tracks that stay stuck in my head for days. One song can be a spastic mess, while the next can be a methodic, heartache-ridden slow jam. He just gets me, you know?

In all sincerity, each song is brimming with personality and, more importantly, has a definitive objective, a quality that newcomers of chillwave, and electronica in general, become averted to as songs within the genre can be lengthy and pandering. Quite frankly, they’re not wrong. It would be irresponsible of me to say that the majority of the genre is representative of this, but I agree that some songs are sonically numbing for the sake of making a song louder or longer than it should be. Giraffage’s style is antithetical to that approach: His songs are concise, punchy, dynamic, and thoroughly avoid relying on one tone to dominate a track or album.
“Make You Love Me”, his remix of the Bonnie Raitt song, is a perfect example. In three, short minutes, Giraffage leaves a lasting impression – and it’s a fucking cover. Similarly to Bon Iver’s rendition of the Raitt song, Giraffage captures and expounds on the sheer emotionalism through his capacity to play with, and ultimately harness, his variety of chillwave.

The song is a morose, unabashed look at love when confronted with the reality that, as complete as your feelings for someone can be, at times they are not mutual and cannot be forced upon the other. This is a hard concept to grasp and one that typically lacks grace. Raitt’s original is a painful admittance; a gritty portrayal of the hard decisions one makes in a relationship. Giraffage champions Raitt’s message by elegantly combining his beats with her passionate vocals. It’s a beautiful cover that refuses to play it safe by staying in the creator’s shadow. Instead, he celebrates the original confidently, applying segments from his own songs (slices of “Close 2 Me” from his album Needs plays at the beginning and end) and manipulating Raitt’s voice while adding his signature flair.

I defy any of you to listen to this entire song without (at least) feeling a lump in your throat. If you are interested in hearing more from Giraffage, check out his bandcamp and soundcloud.