“Simpsonwave” is exactly what it sounds like: the collision of the weird, nostalgia- and Tumblr-driven electronic subgenre “vaporwave” and clips from early episodes of The Simpsons, usually with fake VHS distortion and other effects added.
That makes as much sense as anything about vaporwave. But how did it come to be in the first place? According to the Pitchfork article “What The Hell Is Simpsonwave?” by Kevin Lozano, it may have all come from a single Vine made last fall by a user called Spicster, who combined a clip from the season seven episode “Bart On The Road” and the song “Resonance” by Home.
Lozano talked to Lucien Hughes, the English college student who put together YouTube’s most seminal Simpsonwave playlist.
According to Hughes, who is now working on original vaporwave tunes of his own, Simpsonwave took off because early Simpsons and vaporwave strike a similar chord in the minds of teens and early-twentysomethings:
A good friend of mine who I share a lot of my taste in music with first introduced me to vaporwave last summer. I was actually really late to the scene. I think this is probably why I’m not as quick to consider it a “dead” genre, which is the opinion of a lot of people who were listening to it five to six years ago. Vaporwave and its associated sub-genres go hand-in-hand with The Simpsons because of the combined hit of nostalgia. The Simpsons is pretty unique in that it’s something that almost everyone born between the late ’80s and early ’00s grew up watching. Vaporwave is very much about creating an atmosphere of nostalgia, so I feel The Simpsons just perfectly fits the whole aesthetic.