Seapunk is a microculture and/or subculture with an identifiable style of music, design, and fashion. It developed online in 2011 via a small group of social media enthusiasts who shared a nostalgia for 1990s internet culture. The New York Times described Seapunk as a "web-joke with music". It gained limited popularity as it was shared, forwarded, and linked across the internet.
Originally, Seapunk started out as a trend and meme on the website Tumblr and was later described as a microtrend in fashion and music. The term "seapunk" was coined by DJ @lilinternet in 2011 who wrote the first reference on Twitter.
In 2011, an article by Cluster Mag reported about the emergence of seapunk. Seapunk was described as "a mostly internet-based phenomenon, birthed out of the tumblr and twitter universes as a means to describe a lifestyle aesthetic that is all things oceanic and of the sea."
Miles Raymer of the Chicago Reader describes seapunk music as "a style of music that incorporates bits of 90s house, the past 15 years or so of pop and R&B, and the latest in southern trap rap—all overlaid with a twinkly, narcotic energy that recalls new-age music and chopped and screwed hip-hop mix tapes in roughly equal measure." According to the New York Times, the music associated with seapunk constitutes a "tiny" subgenre that borrows from styles such as witch house, chiptune, drum and bass and southern rap.
In January 2012, seapunk made it into international print via Dazed & Confused magazine. Katia Ganfield interviewed Albert Redwine (a.k.a. Ultrademon) in the article, "Seapunk: A new club scene intent on riding sub-bass sound waves into the future".
Other artists associated with the scene include Azealia Banks, Grimes, Blank Banshee, Sea Punk Funk rapper Isaiah Toothtaker, Kreayshawn, Fire For Effect, Merman, Zombelle, Slava, Unicorn Kid, Baby Tap, Ideal Corpus and Splash Club 7.
The fashion sees a large amount of colors of blues and greens as reminiscent of aqua-related themes. Symbols such as yin-yangs, smiley faces and references to the 1990s are also a part of the style.
Sharing images on the popular networking site Tumblr is one facet of this new trend. Images featuring neon flashing colors and rotating geometric shapes floating above oceans of brilliant blue or green water flood the pages tagged with a #Seapunk hashtag. Seapunk digital imagery draws largely from the 1990s early World Wide Web styles. This imagery has given rise to new internet subgenres consisting of similar themes, such as slimepunk and icepunk.
- Detrick, Ben (2 March 2012). "Little Mermaid Goes Punk: Seapunk, a Web Joke With Music, Has Its Moment". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Raymer, Miles (12 January 2012). "The Week Seapunk Broke". Chicago Reader (Sun-Times Media, LLC). Retrieved 13 April 2012.
- Peck, Jamie (12 February 2012). "This Weekend In New York: Parts & Labor Bid Farewell, Seapunk Washes Ashore". The Village Voice. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
- Stephens, Alexis. "The Abyss: #seapunk #splishsplash #oceangang". Cluster Mag. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Ganfield, Katia (January 2012). "Seapunk: A new club scene intent on riding sub-bass sound waves into the future". Dazed & Confused. pp. 26–270.
- Stehlik, Lucy (14 December 2012). "Seapunk: Scenester In-joke or Underground Art Movement?". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Martins, Chris (14 November 2012). "Seapunks Salty Over Rihanna and Azealia Banks' 'Net Aesthetics". Spin Magazine. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Harwood, Nick (30 November 2012). "You Never Thought Seapunk Would Take It This Far". Respect. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
- Sidell, Misty White (30 November 2012). "Seapunks Internet Trend Takes High Fashion, From Proenza Schouler to Versace". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 12 February 2014.