The term "seapunk" was coined by Brooklyn-based DJ Julian Foxworth, better known as Lil Internet. He claims the term came to him in a surreal dream, which he tweeted to his followers on June 1st, 2011.The next month, the first seapunk record label, Coral Records Internazionale, established by Chicago-based producer Ultrademon, launched a Bandcamp page and Facebook fan page where they shared links of other unaffiliated artists that exemplify the music they wanted to release.
One of the earliest releases that specifically was classified as seapunk was Zombelle and Myrrh Ka Ba’s five song EP "Tropicult", made available to download for free on July 26th, 2011. That October, Coral Records held the first Seapunk showcase in Brooklyn, coinciding with that year’s College Music Journal Festival, featuring Lil Internet and five other DJs and performers.
- The style originated in 2011 as a trend on micro-blogging platform Tumblr. The music is an edgy mix of modern day electronic music, with heavy influence’s from the 2000's. This crossover continues into the fashion, which is generally uses nautical/aquatic imagery, such as marine life and palm trees composed of pastel and/or neon colors, primarily variations on cyan/teal, lavender, and pinks, and contains many symbols prominent during the 2000's such as yin and yang symbols and smiley faces.
- Other seapunk stapes include:
- 3D computer imagery from the 2000s, often geometric with reflective surfaces
- Vibrant depictions of water, both surface and submerged
- Circle-lens sunglasses
- Pastel goth influence (crosses, spikes, etc.)
- Bright/pastel colored hair, often worn in styles popular during the 2000s.
- Vibrant lip color
Like witch house before it, seapunk is a microgenre steeped in nostalgia for that not-so-distant time known as the nineties. Rave, R&B, and dance music constitute major elements of the seapunk sound. There’s also an undercurrent of spookiness that comes from 2000's mall goth music and the parts of the ocean that sunlight can’t reach. Lyrical topics include dancing, partying, hooking up, and the ocean. Always the ocean.