GULLS – a self-described “unsigned 5 piece from all corners of the UK” – released “Endless” this morning, adding another amazing track to this iteration of the dream pop genre.
They sound like very much like Surfer Blood but with a British accent. Fun, at times intense, and toeing the line to bravely express a vulnerable broken-heartedness not often allowed outwardly, GULLS bridges this generation to that of the early 90s and even the more generalized British Isles rock of that era – bands like Touch of Oliver – but with less distortion and more floor toms.
Musique Le Pop just released their “L’été EP” – a five-track collection of Norwegian dreampop for Summer 2014.
Building upon their 80s-influenced “Turn to Sand,” Musique Le Pop spreads out their sound in both directions from their first single. On one end of tempo, “Mateo” lends itself to “Into the Groove” dancepop. “In My Arms” is slower and sadder with Camera Obscura heartbreak vocals. “Falling in Love” has almost a CHVRCHES feel, particularly at the 2:10 mark when the guitar riffs lead the way to two beats of synth chords. The EP ends with “Dream Out Loud” which stands out due to its ethereal, subdued nature, exemplifying Musique Le Pop’s wide range of styles.
“Stone Fox” by Hunter as a Horse is a trip through music history – a mix of Moon Pix era Cat Power vocals with nu-disco synths at the 1:26 mark, fun roller disco style of variety of instruments (metal tin beats?) and percussions, then moves to a dream pop style overture and breathy vocals at the 2:43, finishing off with library cosmic synths at the 3:26 mark that then slows down to a more typical dream pop. Finally finishing off at 5:17 with dark wave synths building on top of the dream pop breathy vocals.
This post is about a year late, but it still needs to get out to feature one of BoxSpeaker’s favorite dream pop acts – Tea Leigh:
Some tracks such as “Color Theory” (above) and “Do You Sleep” are epitomic of dream pop – with their beachy Fender Telecaster riffs and breathy vocals.
Then there are songs like “Rushing In” that fall in what Tea Leigh coins “dream folk” – the same vocals but without the breathy sustained effects (like The Knife without the electrobeats) and with an acoustic guitar instead of the Telecaster.
The Bilinda Butchers are a San Francisco-based band that takes a lot of influences from the 90s shoegaze sound, dreampop, and even what sounds like a traditional Japanese sanshin strumming style in some of their songs (first 25 notes of “The Lovers’ Suicide”!)
Even their album art and lyrics show the traditional Japanese art influence. Their album cover has modern (maybe even 60s-inspired) color combinations juxtaposed by the traditional Japanese woodcut art style. And according to their SoundCloud, their lyrics were inspired by Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Street Singer,” which takes place in Japan and was written in the mid to late 1800s.
The Bilinda Butchers’ style across mediums shows their appropriation of influences not just from one recent era (or even national identity) of sound, sight, and storytelling but across centuries and oceans to create new music. All of this giving even fuller meaning to their work.