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Tag Archives: dream pop

Vivian-Fantasy-Photo-1-Credit-Bee-Cardoso

photo courtesy of bee cardoso

the kaleidoscopic expanse of vivian fantasy wouldn’t be a bad place to spend the rest of eternity.  danny bozella’s output under this moniker is measured and polychromatic, a collage of shoegaze and electronica swirled with accents of pop.  on november 17th, the richmond, virginia, artist will release his latest ep, deep. honey., via seattle’s hush hush records.

bozella constructs songs either from the results of weekly self-imposed ambient exercises or from an initial loop; deep. honey.’s title track could stem from either process, but seems to hinge on a bleary-eyed motif that sometimes burrows deep into the song’s pillowy texture.  sitting more prominently in the mix is bozella’s lead vocal, its delivery a delightful newfound comfort that spurned the creation of “deep. honey.”

says bozella, “that excitement put me in a headspace where i just had the desire to make something more urgent-sounding and emotive.  it was actually one of the first tracks in a long time where i really surprised myself.”  and what a gorgeous boost of confidence it is; “deep. honey.” oscillates between hazy ruminations and a persistent four-on-the-floor pulse, bozella’s pleading vocal melody the main constant.

“deep. honey.” premieres right here on the dimestore.  get lost in the vibrant soundscape that is vivian fantasy below.

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Plastic Flowers

photo courtesy of the artist

george samaras sits at the helm of plastic flowers, a project that has swayed between a solo production outlet and a full-band experience throughout its transcontinental voyage from greece to london.  armed with a hazy catalogue of material that has existed in some form since 2013, samaras will return with his third full-length, absent forever, on november 10th via the native sound.

a recurring theme threaded through absent forever is samaras’ preference towards recording directly to tape; the ensuing analogue warmth certainly permeates throughout “half life,” the album’s latest preview.  a woozy, angular buzz-saw of a guitar riff chugs resolutely in front of a syncopated drum beat, the resulting mid-tempo foundation providing perfect fodder for samaras’ cavernous lead vocal.  “half life” feels appropriately haunting, tinted with the warble of an aged reel-to-reel.  listen in below.

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photo courtesy of the artist

finnish quintet cina polada make a brand of pop music that is dreamy only in terms of the ambiance swirling in the background of any given track; the foreground is often equal parts effervescent and propulsive, with melodic motifs and arpeggios jostling for space amidst busy drum parts and a soaring lead vocal.

all of those components are on display throughout “gloom,” the group’s excellent lead-off single culled from their self-titled debut ep, out september 29th via the swedish imprint strangers candy.  a bass line that would satisfy the progenitors of post-punk ushers in a cascade of guitars and synths which explore the various peaks and valleys of the song’s lush landscape, waning with the arrival of hilla miettinen’s vocals and waxing as they drift out of focus.  the result is one of the most pleasant three minutes of pop to be heard all summer long.

take a listen to “gloom” below.

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photo courtesy of the artist

greg gonzalez’ perennial sighs echo throughout the cavernous soundscape collectively culled and maintained by the brooklyn quartet cigarettes after sex.  though lyrical intimacy is often at its forefront, the sheer depth of the band’s sonic architecture allows for other, more complex emotions to often permeate through each track’s aesthetic as well, a dual-strength collage of wistfulness capable of settling in for the long haul.

after releasing an impulsive collection of sparse, affecting songs in 2012, cigarettes after sex worked sporadically, putting out one-off singles here and there while retaining a captive, patient audience.  the advent of their latest single, “k.,” tosses any sense of uncertainty and ambiguity about forthcoming material out the window; a full-length album is due out next year via the band’s new home, partisan records.

“k.” is a lush, expansive primer for those experiencing cigarettes after sex for the first time; gonzalez’ lead vocal sits, as always, squarely in the foreground, longing for a lost love while his bandmates create a meditative pulse underneath.  jacob tomsky’s work on the trap set is the unsung glue holding the track together, an adamant kick-snare combination juxtaposed by a whispered ride cymbal pattern that embodies the band’s dichotomy in rhythmic form.

gonzalez’ guitar interludes, when locked in with randy miller’s plaintive bass lines and phillip tubbs’ warm keyboard pads, are the epitome of dream pop’s fluid tendencies, but it’s when those elements largely drop out that “k.” transcends expectations and becomes a masterful exercise in restraint.  take a listen below.

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photo courtesy of the artist

matt messore marked the end of his tenure in you blew it! with a cross-country move and a new sonic direction.  now headquartered in grand rapids, michigan, messore assembled key personnel, among them steady collaborator victoria ovenden, and began recording dreamy, jangly pop songs as dear tracks.  after turning in their promising debut ep, soft dreams, at the start of the year, messore and ovenden are now armed with a brand-new single as they look ahead to a handful of fall tour dates.

on “aligning with the sun,” dear tracks intertwine a pair of guitar leads that dance effortlessly through watery textures, while pausing occasionally to drone alongside messore’s blissed-out lead vocal.  it’s a perfectly sun-bleached endeavor, a track that lends itself well to the waning hours of summer.

“aligning with the sun” is out now as a limited-edition lathe-cut single via the native sound.  listen in below.