So this is a premiere, my very first post of a playlist for convenient listening. I’ve decided to make this first one about the vast landscape of (electronic) Dream Pop, as quite a few of the hitherto published posts could be categorized into this genre, there is a reasonably good representation of Women in the bands in question and last, but not least, it has always been one of my absolute favorite genres. The boundaries of dream pop are broadly set here, as I not only not agree with the notion of a necessity of strict separation between the genres, moreover I think that those boundaries inhibit musical development and progress so I’ll go with what I’d say could be categorized under the umbrella term of Dream Pop.
Dream Pop is primarily defined by ethereal vocals and a focus on the song’s texture. It has been often used in the 80s and 90s for a sub-genre of alternative rock, but thereafter has been used for a wide difference of sounds including, but not limited to, bands that are otherwise labeled as playing synth- or electro pop music.
There have been excessive discussions on which bands are to place under this term, and whether Dream Pop is part of the electronic music scene or not has been a controversial question. In addition, the differentiation between Dream Pop and the closely connected genre Shoegaze has been questioned multiple times as well. But to me those debates surrounding exclusionist notions of music are moot. So in case anyone is still wondering what Dream Pop is, better start listening to the tunes and see for yourself.
Charlie Hilton, Patrick Adams and Jacob Portrait are Blouse. They are a indie/shoegaze band from the US that have released two complete albums as of yet, with the first one, their self-titled debut album ‘Blouse’ being the more successful one among fans. For their second album, they ditched all things all electronic. But one is inclined to ask, why they did that if the chemistry between all members worked so well before. (To be fair, it’s not a bad album at all, and I might actually be a bit biased with this blog being about electronic music…)
But there’s no use crying over spilled milk, especially not when we’ve still got such a fine album as their debut, with incredible tracks like ‘Into Black’ that also comes with a fitting atmospheric video above. They’re bass heavy electronic sounds really reminds one of the intimacy that is created in the sounds of ‘The XX’. If you don’t know Blouse yet, you should definitely give this tune and the rest of their album a listen.
Continue reading Blouse – Into Black
Purity Ring are a long-standing favorite of mine, since I discovered them while listening to Grimes (who is also their labelmate on 4AD), XXYYXX and the likes. They consist of Megan James and Corin Roddick from Edmonton in Canada and play together since 2010.
Roddick’s production and James’ vocals form a memorable combination that NME described as being “ethereal but gutsy, bold but whimsical, doused in confidence and meaning and always poking at the membranes of the here and now, never ones to bow to the status quo”.
What is rather easy to miss are the lyrics, that are written by James and sometimes consist of personal notes from years before they even thought of forming an electronic band. They are easy to miss, because the production soundscape sounds so dreamy and perfectly coherent, while the vocals are often quite heavily distorted. So multiple replays of Purity Ring’s tracks are always highly recommended, if only to discover a new level inside their deeply emotional lyrics, and ‘Fineshrine’ is a formidable place to start.
Continue reading Purity Ring – Fineshrine