Category: dream pop

New Video: Brooklyn’s Colatura Releases a Hazy Visual for Slow-Burning and Delicate “We Run On Empty”

Colatura — Jennica (bass, vocals), Digo (guitar, vocals) and Meredith (guitar, synth, vocals) is a rising Brooklyn-based indie trio that features multiple lead singers while establishing a sound that’s sometimes dreamy and sometimes heavy, centered around pop-leaning melodies and post-punk atmospherics. And as a result, some critics have described them as “Fleetwood Mac with shoegaze guitars.”

With the release of 2018’s debut EP Spring Drew Blood and a handful of singles last year, including “I Don’t Belong Here,” the Brooklyn-based indie outfit have begun to build up some buzz: They’ve been featured by The Deli and Oh My Rockness, and they’ve received breathless praise from Full Time Aesthetic, who covered a recent live show and wrote “the easiest way to describe Colatura is they’re like sunshine streaming out of an amplifier with its volume set at nine.” Adding to a growing profile locally, Colatura has played sets at Rough Trade, Baby’s All Right, Mercury Lounge and Elsewhere as well as house parties and DIY Brooklyn venues.

The Brooklyn-based trio’s full-length debut is slated for release next year. The album features lovingly crafted material that began to take shape as the trio passed demos back-and-forth to each other last year. The album’s creative process culminated in an upstate New York writing retreat before recording sessions across the Hudson Valley, Connecticut and the band’s own Manhattan-based Tessatura Studio.

In the lead-up to the album’s release, the Brooklyn-based trio have released two singles — “King Kalm,” and “The Met.” The album’s third and latest single, the slow-burning and subtly brooding “We Run On Empty” features Jennica and Meredith’s delicately interwoven vocals paired with a lushly textured soundscape consisting of jangling and reverb-drenched guitars, glistening synth arpeggios and a steady yet propulsive rhythm section. Sonically, “We Run On Empty” — to my ears, at least — will draw comparisons to early Beach House, A Storm in Heaven era The Verve, Alvvays and others while revealing the tiro’s uncanny ability to craft a soaring, memorable hook. Thematically, “We Run On Empty” focuses on the steady, almost imperceptible loss of identity that comes when one finds themselves in a toxic and abusive relationship.

Directed and shot by the band, the hazy, dream-like visual for “We Run On Empty” was filmed at a strikingly old-fashioned Upstate New York Air BNB. “We tried to find the weirdest one we could, and lucked out with one that had amazing and different grandmother-style wallpaper in each room,” Jennica explains. “We also bought a fog machine to add some extra ambiance, which was great until we set off the smoke alarm mid-take.” 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays No Swoon Release a Brooding New Visual and Single

Formed back in 2016, JOVM mainstays No Swoon — Tasha Abbott (vocals, guitar) and Zack Nestel-Patt (synths) — have received attention across the blogosphere for a sound and approach that meshes elements of dream pop, shoegaze, post-punk and ethereal wave.

2018’s EP 1 was written in Los Angeles during a self-imposed exile from the East Coast. For Abbott, a native of Ontario, CA, the idea was to get back to her geographic and musical roots: she spent a great deal of time driving around the suburbs listening to the goth and New Wave that her mom played in the car when Abbott was a little girl  (BauhausLove and Rockets, New Order) and the indie rock and punk rock of her teenage years (Yeah Yeah YeahsThe White Stripes).

2019’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced, self-titled full-length debut saw the band firmly establishing their sound in an urgent and ambitious fashion. Drawing from the divisiveness of the 2016 election and its aftermath, the self-titled album featured incisive political commentary — often criticizing capitalism, unchecked power and greed, while touching upon the confusion, frustration and and uncertainty that so many of us have felt, and continue to feel.

Much like countless others across the world, the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the JOVM mainstay act found their lives and plans thrown into disarray: their planned tour to support their full-length debut last year was indefinitely scrapped. And after spending the past five years in Brooklyn, the duo relocated to Los Angeles. Understandably, the past year spent in isolation has forced the duo to take a step back and think about their lives in new ways, as well as examine the intricacies of going through life. (This has been a period of profound reflection and reinvention — for all of us.)

The duo’s latest single “Again” marks a period of massive transitions for the band: the aforementioned move back West — and the band reworking their sound as a result. The slow-burning “Again” sees the JOVM mainstays pairing Abbott’s ethereal and plaintive vocals with a stormy backdrop of forceful and buzzing power chords, thunderous drumming by frequent collaborator Jon Smith, swirling bursts of twinkling keys and a enormous hook. Sonically, the song manages to evoke the seemingly unending doldrums of the earliest part of the pandemic, while being a sort of mix of Siamese Dream era Smashing Pumpkins and Slowdive.

“This song is about when days begin and end with no real definition. About being stuck in the loop of our life and we can’t get out. It may come to no surprise that this song was written early on in the Pandemic. Before everything shut down, I (Tasha) was constantly moving: work, music, sleep, etc., and being at stand-still all of a sudden was definitely strange (on top of the already terror and stress of the pandemic).”

Directed, shot and edited by the members of No Swoon,  the recently released video for “Again” features the band’s Tasha Abbott by herself at night, shot in a series of super tight close-ups meant to evoke the claustrophobic feeling of being trapped by yourself with your own thoughts.

New Video: India’s Us and I Release the Slow-Burning and Aching “First Love”

Formed back in 2018, the emerging Bangalore, India-based synth pop duo Us and I — Bidisha Kesh (vocals) and Guarav Govilkar (production) — features members who come from very different backgrounds, who bonded over the fact that they share similar musical sensibilities: As the story goes, when they started to work together, Kesh and Govlikar quickly realized that they shared a unique way of crafting songs with deeply personal lyrics paired with the melancholia of the orange and yellow colors leaking from the sounds of their synthesizers. 

The duo spent the next two years developing and honing a sound that they believe will act as a bridge between the synth-driven work of Chromatics and the slow-burning, dream pop of Beach House — with subtle nods to darkwave and post-punk. Thematically, the duo’s material generally draws from everyday life and the relationships around them. 

As a result of the pandemic, the Bangalore-based duo played a few online, live-at-home livestream sessions. which helped the band gain attention for their debut EP Loveless, which was released earlier this year. Thematically, Loveless focuses on a universal subject, love — in particularly, a past love and how the nostalgia and grief of that past love can hit us like waves. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about Loveless single “Fragile,” deliberately crafted, textured pop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines, thumping beats and Kesh’s gorgeous vocals in a song that reminded me quite a bit of Dead Blue-era Still Corners.

The EP’s latest single “First Love” is slow-burning ballad centered around an atmospheric arrangement of twinkling piano, glistening synth arpeggios and Kesh’s achingly plaintive vocals. While sonically “First Love” strikes me as being a bit like Still Corners meets Tales of Us era Goldfrapp, the song as the duo explains is about “the nostalgic longing to be near someone that is distant, or that has bene loved and then lost — ‘the love that remains.'”

Fittingly, the recently released video for “First Love” is nostalgic and brims with an aching and unresolved longing for a time, place, and situation that can’t be recovered. And as a result, ghosts linger and taunt throughout.

New Video: Rising Toronto-based Act Tallies Releases a “120 Minutes” Era MTV-like Visual for Shimmering New Single

Toronto-based dream pop outfit Tallies — Dylan Frankland (guitar), Sarah Cogan (vocals, guitar) and Cian O’Neill (drums) — had a breakthrough 2019: Their self-titled, full-length debut was released to critical praise from the likes of Under the Radar, DIY Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, MOJO, Bandcamp Daily, Exclaim!, KEXP and others. Adding to a growing profile, the Canadian indie trio have opened for Mudhoney, Hatchie, Tim Burgess and Weaves.

The Graham Walsh and Dylan Frankland co-produced “No Dreams of Fayres,” was recorded at Toronto’s Palace Sound, Baskitball 4 Life, and Candle Recording and is the first bit of new material from the rising Canadian outfit since their full-length debut. While the new single continues to see the band draw influence from Lush, Beach House and Cocteau Twins, there’s a greater emphasis on shimmering guitars — paired with deeply lived-in songwriting and a razor sharp hook. Sonically reminding me of The Sundays‘ “Here’s Where The Story Ends,” the Toronto-based dream pop act’s newest single is ironically upbeat, as it documents Sarah Cogan’s struggles with depression — in particular, the moments when she was trying to work it out but couldn’t find the energy to do so.

“‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is a reflection of thoughts that I remember going through my mind when I stayed still in bed,” Tallies’ Sarah Cogan explains in press notes. Feeling as though staying still in bed was the only thing that would help the sadness – basically, disconnecting myself from family, friends, and having a life. Finding the way out of depression was hard but possible. ‘No Dreams of Fayres’ is also about the realization of letting yourself feel real feelings but not mistaking them for emotions. I had to learn to get a grip of what I wanted out of life and go for it with no self-sabotage – which was music, as cliché as it sounds. It pulled me out of bed, physically and mentally.”

Directed and shot by Colin Medley and edited by Christopher Mills, the recently released video for “No Dreams of Fayres” follows a discman listening Sarah Cogan, as she wanders around a snow-covered Canadian town with stops at a record store, a local eatery, the lakefront, and an empty bandshell, before heading to a local bowling lane to meet her bandmates.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay MUNYA Builds a Spaceship and Travels to Space in Playful Visual for “Voyage”

I’ve managed to spill a copious amount of virtual ink covering Québec-born and-based multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Josie Boivin, the creative mastermind behind the critically applauded recording project and JOVM mainstay act MUNYA over the past couple of years. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over that same period, you might recall that when Boivin was asked to play at 2017’s Pop Montreal, she had only written one song. Ironically, at the time, Boivin never intended to pursue music full-time; but after playing at the festival, she quickly realized that music was what she was meant to do. So, Boivin quit her day job, moved in with her sister and turned their kitchen into a home recording studio, where she wrote every day. Those recordings would become part of an EP trilogy with each individual EP named after a significant place in Boivin’s life: Her debut North Hatley EP derived its name from one of Boivin’s favorite little Québecois villages. Her second EP, the critically applauded Delmano EP derived its name from Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based bar Hotel Delmano. The third and final EP of the trilogy, Blue Pinederived its name from the Blue Pine Mountains in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks.

Since the release of that critically applauded EP trilogy, the Québec-born and-based JOVM mainstay has been busy: She released a string of singles, including the Washed Out-like “Pour Toi,” a single centered around the aching and unfulfilled longing of being forced to speak to a loved one from a distance. And she worked on her highly-anticipated full-length debut Voyage to Mars

With a background in opera and jazz, Boivin’s life has been centered around two big dreams: to be a musician — and to go to Mars. “I love space. I love aliens. I love thinking that we’re not alone in this big strange universe,” she says. “Those things give me hope.” Naturally, that hope led to Voyage to Mars, an album that derives its title from Georges Méliès’ classic silent film Le Voyage dans la Lune. Slated for a Friday release through Luminelle Recordings, the album’s material often feels as though it were beamed in from another, more beautiful and whimsical world. 

In the lead-up to the album’s release later this week I’ve written about two of the album’s previously released, official singles:

  • Deriving its title from the name of a Florida town, located about 15 miles from the John F. Kennedy Space Center, “Cocoa Beach” features a driving and funky bass line, four-on-the-floor, squiggling Nile Rodgers-like guitar, glistening synth arpeggios and Boivin’s dreamily coquettish vocals singing lyrics in English and French. The song is centered around the JOVM mainstay’s unerring knack for crafting a razor sharp, infectious hook — and fittingly, a ton of space and space travel-related imagery. 
  • A slow-burning cover of The Smashing Pumpkins‘ “Tonight, Tonight” that sees the JOVM mainstay stripping some of the original’s bombast away for an intimate, bedroom pop-like production centered around shimmering and reverb drenched guitars and skittering beats paired with Boivin’s ethereal and plaintive vocals.

“Voyage,” Voyage to Mars‘ latest single is an upbeat bop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, squiggling rhythm guitar, a driving and funky bass line, handclap driven percussion and the JOVM mainstay’s ethereal cooing. Further cementing Boivin’s unerring knack for crafting infectious hooks paired with earnest songwriting, “Voyage” manages to tie the album’s themes together while being a celebration of the journey that led her to the release of the album. But it’s also about the importance of taking the time to enjoy your dreams as they — finally! — come true. “‘Voyage’ is about willing your seemingly impossible-to-achieve dreams to come true…like building a ship and traveling to space to meet up with an old friend on Mars,” the JOVM mainstay explains.

Directed by Ashley Benzwie and Boivin, the recently released and playful video for “Voyage” begins with Boivin reminiscing about her dear Martian friend. She then researches and builds a spaceship out of wood, reclaimed metal and other scraps to visit her friend. The video ends with Boivin blasting off towards her destination.

Led by Frank Corr, the rising indie pop/dream pop act Morning Silk can trace its origins back to when Corr was studying Architecture at The Rhode Island School of Design: Initially conceived as a side project while school took up most of his time, Corr was inspired to seriously pursue music once again after listening to MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular and Congratulations

Most of the early material was mainly just guitar-based but the project’s sound and aesthetic gradually began to materialize when Corr linked up with Matthew Lancaster (bass, production). The ideas they started working on desperately needed drums. Robert Norris (drums) joined the project, and as a trio they began playing almost every venue across Rhode Island. Simultaneously, Corr was busy collecting gear, so they could build a studio in NYC. Immediately upon their graduation, the trio relocated to New York and landed jobs in order to finance their studio. 

Working with a number of producers including Matthew Lancaster, Eamon Ford, Robert Norris and Caroline Sans, the rising New York-based indie pop/dream pop outfit’s full-length debut is slated for release later this year. Earlier this month, I wrote about album single “Don’t Try Hard Enough.” a dreamy, hook-driven bop that sonically brought MGMT and Tame Impala to mind while being a gentle reminder that it’s never too late to change the path and course of your life.

The debut album’s third and latest single “So Fun,” which features guest spots from Sur Black and Kolezanka is a breezy pop confection centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, lysergic guitars and The debut album’s third and latest single “So Fun,” which features guest spots from Sur Back and Kolezanka is a layered yet breezy pop confection centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, plaintive, shimmering guitars. a lysergic guitar solo and falsetto vocals. The end result is a song that sonically reminds me of a slick synthesis JOVM mainstay Summer Heart, Tame Impala and Washed Out with an infectious, two-step inducing hook.

Deriving their name from a French expression that gently mocks sappy lovers, the Paris-based indie rock duo Fleur bleu.e — Delphine and Vladimir — features two accomplished musicians, who have been performing and writing music since they were both children: Vladimir was a guitarist in French garage rock band Brats, an act that recorded and released a Yarol Popouard-produced album that was supported with touring across France with BB Brunes. Delphine began playing cello in classical orchestras before learning guitar and playing at alternative festivals across Paris with her first band Le Studio Jaune.

When the duo met in 2019, they bonded over a mutual love of The Smiths, Beach HouseFrançoise Hardy and Elli et Jacno among others, and a desire to craft music that was emotionally ambiguous while being fueled by their teenage myths. Seemingly influenced by dramas and nightmares, their artistic vision is to go beyond the prism of the gender binary and call upon the listener to express their fragility, celebrating one’s inner world and the beauty in imperfections.

The Parisian duo released “Horizon” to critical applause late last year. Building upon a buzz worthy profile in their native France, the Parisian duo released “STOLT 89” earlier this year, a track that brought Bloom-era Beach House to mind while being an emotionally ambiguous feminist manifesto. Both of those singles will appear on the duo’s Ben Ettter-produced full-length debut slated for release next year.

In the meantime, the forthcoming album’s third and latest single “sun” sees the members of Fluer bleu.e crafting an infectious yet beautiful song that adds elements of folk and jangle pop to their singular take on dream pop. The end result is a song that sounds like Beach House meets The Sundays. But underneath the song’s sunny instrumentation, the song is a bittersweet meditation on depression, the search for a soulmate embodied by the sun and the stifling nature of the gender binary.

New Video: James Wyatt Crosby Releases a Hazy, Nostalgia-Inducing Visual for Breezy “Shadow of a Ghost”

James Wyatt Crosby is a singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, who’s currently based in the rural township of Tiny, Ontario Canada. (Yes, that’s a real place. Located in South Central Ontario, Tiny is — well, tiny, as it has a population of 11,787 or so.) Crosby’s full-length debut, 2017’s Twins featured “Deep In Yr Mind,” a track which amassed over 1.2 million Spotify streams, while landing on Nerdist’s 25 Best Underground Albums of 2017.

The following year, Crosby released the standalone single “Lemonade (No I Never),” which wound up being a surprise hit on Canadian college radio, at one point peaking at #1 on CFMU-FM. 2019’s Here We Are In Heaven EP wound up becoming a fan favorite, while seeing the Canadian singer/songwriter craft more addictive dream pop melodies.

Last year, the rising Canadian artist went on a forced recording and touring hiatus as a result of the pandemic; but 2021 has seen Crosby’s material appear on a handful of CBC and Netflix shows. Released earlier this month through Wavy Sun, Crosby’s latest single “Shadow of a Ghost” is a summary blast centered around layers of shimmering guitars, glistening synths, a sumptuous bass line, a simple backbeat and Crosby’s achingly plaintive and yearning vocals. The end result is an infectious and nostalgia-inducing bit of dream pop that sounds indebted to 120 Minutes MTV era alt rock.

“This song was written during a time when it seemed like the fabric of reality was coming apart at the seams right in front of me,” James Wyatt Crosby explains in press notes. “Life can be so beautiful but also so painful and disturbing and this song speaks about the way that loss and grief can change the way that you perceive yourself and the world around you. This song allowed me to move through some challenging times.”

Fittingly for such a nostalgia-inducing tune, the video is shot through a hazy filter, reminding us of summer days when things seemed far easier and far simpler.

Brighton-based dream pop act and JOVM mainstays Hanya — currently Heather Sheret (vocals, guitar), Benjamin Varnes (guitar), Jorge Bela (bass) and Jack Watkins (drums) — exploded into the national and international scenes with the release of their debut EP, I Used to Love You, Now I Don’t, an effort that saw the British outfit quickly and firmly establish a sound that featured elements of dream pop and shoegaze.

Much like countless acts across the globe, the Brighton-based JOVM mainstays had plans to build upon a rapidly growing profile both nationally and internationally: they released their acclaimed, sophomore EP Sea Shoes, which they supported with touring across the UK and their Stateside debut at that year’s New Colossus Festival. Since their New Colossus  set at The Bowery Electric last March, Hanya has been busy writing and releasing new material, including:  

  • Texas,” a shimmering bit of dream pop that nods at 70s AM rock, and focuses on the longing and excitement of a new crush/new love/new situationship
  • Monochrome,”a hazy and slow-burning ballad that celebrates the pleasures of life’s small things
  • Lydia,” a slow-burning and gorgeous track that continues upon their winning mix of 70s AM rock and Beach House-like dream pop. 

The British dream pop outfit will be releasing their highly anticipated third EP lates this year. Now, as you may recall, last month, I wrote about the forthcoming EP’s lead single, the slow-burning “Fortunes,” which featured  A Storm In Heaven like painterly textures, ethereal harmonies and deeply personal, lived-in lyricism.

Hanya’s latest single “Logan’s Run” continues a recent run of lush and painterly textured material featuring glistening guitars for the song’s dreamy verses, towering feedback and pedal effect driven soloing, a propulsive backbeat paired with Heather Sheret’s gorgeous and expressive vocals. Sonically, “Logan Run” strikes me as being a sort of slick synthesis of brooding atmospherics, 79s AM rock and A Storm in Heaven-like textures.

“We wrote this track as a homage to its namesake – the 1970’s sci-fi classic Logan’s Run, set in a seemingly perfect future full of staggeringly blissful ignorance,” Hanya’s Heather Sheret explains. “We can’t get enough of this film, and whilst we were endlessly ageing during this pandemic, this track felt like our own soundtrack to the dystopian present. The film addresses concerns of consumption, truth and escape, all whilst remaining timelessly beautiful, confusing, and trashy. Just like us.”

Emerging The Hague, The Netherlands-based dream pop duo Maida Rose — songwriting partners Roos Meijer and Javièr den Leeuw — have spent the past five years writing and recording material in the attic of den Leeuw’s childhood home. And this year, they began sharing their songs with the world: Informed by the duo’s own adolescent experiences, their material lyrically and thematically touches upon love (both old and new), their struggles with depression and other related feelings and sensations.

The duo released “Within” earlier this year, and they’ve followed up with their least single “Every Day Is Blue,” a hook-driven bit of playful dream pop centered around shimmering guitars, a sinuous, feel good groove and Meijer’s coquettish vocals and an ironically melancholy melody. Sonically, their newest single will continue a run of material that will draw comparisons to the likes of Cigarettes After Sex, Beach House and others, “Every Day Is Blue” is a playful song about not feeling understood while suffering from depression.

“Depression is something that is hard to grasp if you’ve never suffered from it. I remember that I found it really challenging to communicate with friends and family who clearly had no idea of what it was like,” Maida Rose’s Roos Meijer explains. “They tried their best to say the right thing and to cheer me up, but it sometimes felt like they were unconsciously trivialising the state that I was in.”

“At the time the only thing that you want to do is curl up underneath a blanket and dissapear. I think deep down you know that this won’t do any good, but it’s a piece of knowledge that you’re trying to ignore.

“That’s why we decided to make the song quite playful; to highlight the contrast within. It’s almost a bit rebellious, which is an attitude that I remember vividly from adolescence, which is the main theme of the whole [upcoming] album.”

The duo is putting on the finishing touches on their self-produced full-length debut Tales of Adolescence, which is slated for release early next year.