Archive for the ‘Dream Pop’ Category

Dream pop is a term that has been thrown around the music industry since the 1970s. The exact definition is loose, because as with most genres of music, it can appear in many variations. For the most part though, it ties elements of pop and alternative rock together, while possessing a unique emotive quality to it. So much so, that the lyrics are typically profound and contemplative, while the ethereal vocals play a secondary role to the music itself, the real star of the show. The following bands have mastered the art of speaking through sounds, evoking feelings without saying anything, and sending listeners into the depths of their own imaginations.

Explosions in the Sky

They are a four man group from Austin, Texas, with six studio albums under their belt, who use primarily electric guitars and a drum kit to create their music. They have also appeared on soundtracks, including the movie/television show Friday Night Lights,  where they managed to tap into human emotions and elicit true sentiments out of a bunch of high school football players – now that is some powerful music. They differ slightly from other dream pop bands in the sense that they’re purely instrumental, which allows the listener to focus purely on the harmonies and collaborations between band members, without being distracted by a lead singer. Music for the ears.

Beach House

A dynamic duo from Baltimore consisting of Victoria Legrand on vocals and keyboard; Alex Scally on guitar and keyboard. They have released four studio albums to date, and their most recent, 2012’s In Bloom, garnered them rave reviews. Between just the two of them, they manage to create music that sounds almost magical, as if from a fantasy. Images constantly appear in one’s mind during their tracks, as though they are encouraging you to go beyond the depths of reality, into a completely surreal state. A fascinating experience for your musical soul.

Sigur Rós

This Icelandic trio is a cut above the rest. They use several different instruments, including guitar, keyboard, harmonica, banjo, glockenspiel and the ever-original bowed guitar (ie playing a guitar with a bow.) Starting in 1997, they have released seven studio albums; their sixth, 2012’s Valtari, arguably pushed them into more of a mainstream spotlight. Their lyrics are not even in English, yet their fans span worldwide; they even provided music for and made a quick cameo on an episode of The Simpsons. They carefully select how they combine their sounds together, creating mini-symphonies; the vocals are faint, but also necessary to add to the illusions created by the track itself. The end product is a sonic masterpiece. Even while witnessing them live, in a crowd of thousands, you can easily be taken away to dream.

If you are in the mood to be taken to a far away place, to get away from life for a while, to let your mind run free – forget the drugs. Just listen to some dream pop.