1. To relax; to lay comfortably; to enjoy without effort.
2. A style of music defined by laid-back jazz, soft flowing arrangements, exotic sounds, and light instrumentation.
1. Something that is popular.
2. A style of music defined by accessibility, cheery harmonies and melodies, and a decided lack of dissonance or distortion.
Lounge pop is a style of music combining the sophisticated yet soft sounds of early lounge jazz pioneers such as Les Baxter, Martin Denny, and Antonio Carlos Jobim with the pop stylings of such purveyors as The Temptations, The Beach Boys, and The Beatles. It is typically defined by its lush productions, often involving lots of strings and brass instruments, xylophones and other melodic percussion, and soft mid-range vocal melodies.
Generally, the father of lounge pop would probably be Burt Bacharach, whose late 60s works include "Do You Know The Way To San Jose?", "I Say A Little Prayer For You", and "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", among others. Bacharach's laid back melodies were kept alive by soothing bossa nova rhythms and soft soulful vocals by Dionne Warwick and B.J. Thomas. Other early lounge pop artists included Herb Alpert, The Carpenters, and for a short time, Paul McCartney, before the foundation of Wings.
By the 1980s, live multi-instrumental pop was on its way out, replaced by the rock band and the electronic musician. Artists like Brian Eno and David Byrne allowed the stylings of lounge jazz to occasionally slip into their work, but it was primarily a lost art. However, the sounds of lounge pop remained as fresh as ever, and by the early 1990s, there was a redux of the sound among underground aficionados. Groups like The High Llamas, Stereolab, and The Pizzicato Five began to reinvent the wheel, offering elegant jazzy songs accompanied by the same breezy music as the tropicalia and lounge jazz movements of old.
Today, lounge pop is being pushed unironically by a number of artists, including Tahiti 80, The Sea and Cake (which indudes solo revivalists Archer Prewitt and Sam Prekop), Cousteau, Momus, Sondre Lerche, and Pram, all as part of the post rock movement away from static self-contained songs and into the realm of ambient, mood-driven music.