Stevedreez’s ‘Pink Slip’ EP is a chillwave trip to another time and place

Diners, dives, and late-night drives. Stevedreez’s new chillwave EP Pink Slip is a synth-pop trip to another time and place.

Hailing from Virginia, Stevedreez is the moniker of producer and songwriter Stephen Dries. A newcomer to the scene, Dries brings a retro take on sad pop music. Where other pop artists choose the extremes of extroverted vulgarity or introverted comfort, Dries’ music does neither. Instead, the producer chooses to ride the intoxication of nostalgia.

On Pink Slip, the songs provide a fleeting soundtrack to a shared experience; the musings of a car ride. The highlight of the 5-track EP, “Smoking Section” beats with a hypnotic house pulse while the songwriter expresses; “I just wanna talk to you”. The upbeat of “Downtown” emulates the rhythm of streetlights going by a car window. “OK” presents a funky chill-pop track with a chorus that pines “Never felt like this before / All we need is somewhere to go”. For Dries, “Pink Slip chronicles my late-night drives into the district,” he says. “I wanted to reflect the soundscape of ’80s synth pop/funk and present it in modern fashion.”

At one point in history, nostalgia was considered to be a disease of melancholia. Doctors in the 18th and 19th centuries believed that living in the past prevented you from going forwards. In Stevedreez’s music though, the past isn’t dwelled or mourned. Rather, it breeds new loves via an addictive synth-pop soundtrack. The producer says, “I had a good time making this… I made this for myself but I hope my mom likes it too”.

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