Category: dream pop

Comprised of Ryan McGroarty, Cheylene Murphy and Aimee Williamson, the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based synth pop/dream pop trio Beauty Sleep have quickly received attention from The Irish TimesThe Sun, several blogs and airplay from BBC Radio 1 for a sound that’s been compared to Washed Out, Teen Daze and Summer Heart. And as you’ll hear on the trio’s latest single “Living Right,” you’ll see why as the trio pairs gorgeous and ethereal melodies with shimmering synths, reverb-filled guitars, a propulsive rhythm section and an upbeat, anthemic hook in a carefully crafted song that’s summery and extremely radio-friendly — but with a subtle and underlying wistfulness at its core.

 

 

 

 

 

Live Footage: Beach House Performing “Rough Song” on Charlie Rose

Interestingly, although released last October, Thank Your Lucky Stars was recorded during the same two month period as its predecessor Depression Cherry and continued an ongoing collaboration between the band and co-producer Chris Coady. Naturally, both albums build upon similar aesthetics, making them inseparably companion albums. Now you may remember that I recently wrote about “The Traveller” off Thank Your Lucky Stars. The duo were recently on Charlie Rose’s show where they performed a gorgeous and aching version of “Rough Song.”

With the release of two critically applauded EPs, We Are Sound and Everything You Imagine Is Real, the New York-based electro pop duo Corbu received praise from the likes of NYLONStereogumThe GuardianNME and others for a sound that’s heavily influenced by the Warp Records roster, sci-fi imagery,  psychedelia and their own dreams. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of weeks you may recall that I wrote about the cinematic “Battles,” one of the first singles off the duo’s highly-anticipated, soon-to-be released, full-length debut effort Crayon Soul; a track that has the band pairing a soaring and anthemic hook with a shimmering and breezy melody and plaintive vocals in a way that’s reminiscent to Moonbabies and M83.

Crayon Soul‘s latest single “Better Better Off” is a lush and shimmering psych pop, psych rock track that has the duo pairing angular guitar chords fed through gentle reverb and delay pedals, layers upon layers of gorgeous harmonies, shimmering synth cascades,  a soaring and anthemic hook, and a propulsive rhythm section in a song that sounds indebted to trippy 60s psych rock as much as it does to the likes of In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and the dream pop of the aforementioned Moonbabies, Summer Heart – but with a palpable bittersweet wistfulness under the song’s breezy surface.

 

 

Comprised of signer/songwriter Max Greenhalgh, multi-instrumentalist Bryce Outcault and a revolving cast of musicians and collaborators, San Diego, CA-based project Inspired and the Sleep emerged locally and regionally with the 2015 release of Eyelid Kid, a collection dream pop; however, with “Sweet Company,” the Southern California-based duo have turned towards a breezier and lighter sound with the band returning to self-production combining electronic production techniques with live instrumentation. And in fact, you’ll hear a buoyant melody and hook paired with layers of shimmering and gently undulating synths, Greenhalgh’s plaintive vocals, subtle layers of guitar to craft a song that feels both wistful and yet deeply appreciative over both the good and bad times of one’s life and how they all influence and inform one’s life; after all, even in the most miserable of breakups, there was something positive — those relationships and their heartaches taught you something about yourself and what you want,  and even the lingering ghosts of those past lovers can serve to remind you that even if you’re not in love now, you had been and you will be again.

 

 

Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist David Alexander and his solo dream pop/electro-pop Summer Heart has received international attention for a wistfully nostalgic, 60s psych pop-leaning, lo-fi sound that compares favorably to Caribou‘s earliest material, Washed Out, In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy, Painted Palms and others; in fact, his 2011 Please Stay EP received praise from The Guardian and The Star topped Hype Machine‘s charts. In his native Sweden, Alexander has a reputation for being a pioneer of Sweden’s burgeoning dream pop movement, a movement that includes MoonbabiesThe Land BelowHey ElbowBlind Lake and Emerald Park.

Interestingly, Alexander’s international profile has grown as several of his songs have appeared in TV series — including the NBC series, Whitney, which brought him the attention of millions of American TV viewers. Now, if you were frequenting this site last year, you might recall that I wrote about “Nothing Can Stop Us Now,” a song that consisted of jangling guitars, washboard-led percussion, layers of ethereal vocals and cascading synths with a warm buzzing summer afternoon warmth. His latest single “The Forbidden” off his forthcoming EP also named The Forbidden is a slow-burning and shoegaze-leaning single that pairs Alexander’s ethereal cooing with shimmering guitars and synths played through gentle amounts of reverb  and jazz-like drumming. And although the song evokes the sensation of waking up from a pleasant dream, just underneath its placid surface is a wistful melancholy that will remind the listener that all things will eventually dissipate.

Alexander along with a backing band featuring some of his dearest friends will be making Stateside appearances at SXSW and Williamsburg Brooklyn’s The Knitting Factory later this month. Check out tour dates below.

 

SXSW:

Wednesday 16th March

The Townsend – 1:05am

 

Saturday 19th March

Icenhauer’s – 1am

 

NYC:

Wednesday 23rd March

Live In Brooklyn – The Knitting Factory –

http://www.ticketweb.com/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=6437785

 

Comprised of Austin Knecht, Tamara Simons, Crystal Napoles, Kai Dodson and Joey Felkins, the up-and-coming Ventura, CA-based dream pop quintet Curtsy have started to receive attention across the blogosphere with the release of “One Less Thing,” a shimmering bit of guitar-led pop  that pairs a driving rhythm with anthemic hooks and gorgeous, ethereal harmonies that manages to sound as though it draws from classic shoegaze and 120 Minutes-era alt rock. Sure, their sound is warmly familiar to my ears, and it will be familiar to anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s — but they manage a heart wrenching sincerity that will likely bring back memories when we are all a bit more idealistic and a lot less cynical.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forming back in 2003, Stockholm, Sweden-based electro pop act Baron Bane have developed an international for a sound that explores the contrasts between cold and warmth; digital and analog; acoustic sounds and electronic sounds; and for a live show that employs the use of visual displays based around their sound. The Swedish act’s sophomore effort LPTO was released to critical praise from several major media outlets, including Uncut Magazine, who had compared the act to ABBA and Morrissey and adding to a growing international profile, LPTO album singles “Orchids,” and “Love.Cure.All” received airplay  on British radio and interestingly enough, “Love.Cure.All” was also named as a Single of the Week iTunes Japan. Additionally, “My Show World” appeared on an episode of MTV’s Awkward.

The Swedish electro pop’s act’s forthcoming third album III is slated for release in early 2016, and the album’s first two singles “By The Waves” and “Fire Play” have received international attention — “By The Waves” was praised by the Berlin, Germany-based Scandinavian music blog, Nordic by NaturePopMatters and A Heart Is A Spade. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year, I wrote about “Fire Play,” a chilly and tense song comprised of layers of cascading synths and propulsive, forceful beat paired with a gorgeous pop-orientated melody that belies the dark, subtly seductive nature of the song.

III’s latest single “Hail To The Night” is a slow-burning single comprised of atmospheric synths and precise metronomic drum programming paired with Ida Long’s dreamy, unhurried vocals that evokes a chilly winter breeze blowing on your face and snow falling into your hair. And interestingly enough, the song manages to celebrate the winter solstice — the longest night of the year while cementing their reputation for crafting chilly electro pop that manages to be both brooding and yet ethereal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The up-and-coming Winnipeg, MB-based quartet Living Hour can trace their origins to basement jam sessions, writing dreamy songs inspired by the cinematic sky of their hometown. And as a result their sound, which possesses elements of shimmering guitar pop, swirling synths and ethereal vocals draws equally from classic shoegaze, dream pop and chillwave is both stunningly gorgeous and dramatic, as you’ll hear on their  latest single “Seagull,” a single that sounds as though it could have been released during 120 Minutes-era MTV — in particular think of Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You” and you’ll see exactly what I’m getting at.  (In other words, it’s the sort of song that would have been the soundtrack of an intense and fervent make out session — or would have been the soundtrack of a teenaged breakup.)

It’s been a busy year or so for the Canadian quartet. They contributed two songs to Family Portrait II, a vinyl compilation released by the London/Bristol-based label Art is Hard Records back in April and released a limited run cassette tape of their self titled debut effort through Bloomington, IN-based Tree Machine Records. But 2016 looks to be a breakout year for the band as they signed with Lefse Records, and will be releasing their full-length debut on February 19, 2016, which will be followed by a tour to support the effort. Check out some of the early tour dates below.

 

TOUR DATES:


March 3    Winnipeg, MB    The Good Will Social Club
March 4    Fargo, ND    The Aquarium
March 6    Des Moines, IA    Des Moines Social Club
March 7    Rock Island, IL    Rozz Tox
March 9    St Louis, MO    Foam
March 11    Denver, CO    Lion’s Lair
March 13    Phoenix, AZ     Trunk Space
March 18    Santa Barbara    CA    FUNZONE
March 19    Fresno    CA    Peeves Pub
March 22    Santa Cruz    CA    Bocci’s Cellar
March 25    Davis    CA    Third Art Space Collective
March 29    Portland    OR    The Analog Cafe
March 31    Bellingham    WA    Loudhouse
April 2    Rossland    BC    The Flying Steamshovel
April 3    Kamloops    BC    Zacks Coffee

Finish electronic music act Husky Rescue have developed a reputation across both their native Finland and Scandinavia for a songwriting approach that focuses on restless experimentation — and for material that sonically and aesthetically walks a very careful tightrope between anxious tenseness and childlike innocence.  The band’s last album The Long Lost Friend will be re-issued worldwide on December 11 as a double album — the first album is comprised of original album’s eight previously released tracks; however, since the initial recording sessions and release of Long Lost Friend, vocalist Johanna Kalén left the band because of health issues, so the second album consists of material written by Marko Nyberg (vocals and production), and Antony Bentley (composer and musical director).

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past month, you may recall that I’ve written about Husky Rescue and Long Lost Friend‘s first single “Deep Forest Green.” But some backstory may be a little necessary: According to press notes, there actually is a real story of a long lost friend that informs the material on original album. As the story goes, the long lost friend in question was someone Nyberg was particularly close to throughout most of his childhood — in fact, the two played music together and had a deep mutual understanding that comes from very close friendships. Sadly, the two friends lost touch with each other through most of their twenties, but while Nyberg was writing the songs on Long Lost Friend, he had regained contact with this dear friend. Reportedly, the material as a whole blends the literal and metaphorical, so the material manages to be about more than just one individual friendships — but varying states of emotional intimacy and how difficult and confusing it is to attain them.

Whereas album single “Deep Forest Green” seemed to sound as though it owed a sonic and thematic debt to the work of Bjork, Talking Heads and others, the album’s latest single “Far From The Storm,”pairs Kalén’s lovely yet ethereal vocals with gently strummed guitar chord sample, twinkling keys and gently undulating synths. The song concludes with coda that’s one part psychedelic and one part ominous as it features a towering and buzzing guitar solo. Sonically and structurally, the song seems as though it draws from Moonbabies fantastic Wizards on the Beach and Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” — or in other words, cinematic dream pop with an even breezier nature and catchy hooks.