Archives for posts with tag: Dream Pop

Continuing our theme of soundtracks to ‘escape from Dystopia’ with here’s something a bit closer to home, the now Dunedin-based duo The Melancholies and “Cool Magic” from their recent self-titled 4 track EP:

“Cool Magic” is all decelerated minimal bass and drum-machine post-punk, as gloomy as it is exotic. It has a bit of that languid time-stretching cadence of HTRK and the dark energy spells of Young Hellions mixed in too.

As with both of those musical outfits sparse guitar and chunky bass riffs provide the textures over the electronic percussion, while synths, drones and other sonic treatments are the atmospheric wash over and through this hypnotic song and throughout the EP.

The duo is Holly Coogan and Tom Young and the other standout track on this strong 4 song EP – “Cute Aggression” -was apparently released 3 years ago. Good things take time. The 4 songs on this first EP are all Good Things. Perfect soundtracks for your escape from Dystopia.

Continuing the ‘escape from Dystopia’ theme of the last few posts, here’s White Flowers with the perfect and glorious anthem “Night Drive”:

White Flowers are from Preston in the UK’s industrial north west. The duo’s atmospheric shadow-world post-punk, which also manages to be part ecstatic dream-pop, is situated – sonically-speaking – in a perfect place, triangulated somewhere between the sound and music of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive and Xmal Deutschland.

That mix of ecstasy, atmosphere and gloom – “monochrome psychedelia” as it is succinctly described on White Flowers’ Bandcamp – is an intoxicating combination.

Insincere apologies for the lack of new PopLib posts for about 3 weeks. I’ve been too busy play XR’s album “XR!” (see previous post) to look for any new music on bandcamp. Not quite true, in that I did buy The Green Child’s “Shimmering Bassett” album as well and have been playing that half as much as “XR!” (which is still a fair bit). Here’s the opening track “Fashion Light”:

So, as we discovered on the previous post, The Green Child is Raven Mahon from XR (and previously in US band Grass Widow) with the ubiquitous Mikey Young who either plays on, recorded, mixed or mastered every second album of Australian underground pop/ rock. Slight exaggeration but Mikey brings new meaning to the word ‘prolific’.

Almost exactly a year ago PopLib shared some Mikey Young solo music, which, somewhat surprisingly was not garage rock, but instrumental synth pop. So the melodically melancholy low-key synth-pop/ dream-pop of The Green Child is not out of character. Anyway, it’s a cool album, lots of nicely baroque, dreamy, adventurous pop, which takes a while to reveal its quietly amibitious character (a good thing). Chances are you’ll love it too if you buy it, download it and live with it for a week or two.

Our Day 27 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is “The Ease” by T G Shand:

T. G. Shand is Annemarie Duff (Miniatures) and this new 2021 single follows the accomplished self-recorded/ produced “Golden Hour” EP released in 2020.

“The Ease” is enchanting dream-pop, vocals floating on chorus and reverb guitars and programmed drums.

Inhabiting the general sonic territory of 1990s Cocteau Twins (“Heaven or Las Vegas” era onwards), the song continues the high standards set by the “Golden Hour” EP, satisfying any shoegaze-to-dream-pop cravings you may have.

Our Day 13 song for 31 Days of May Madness, attempting to post a New Zealand track every day of the month of May, is “Dust to Dust” by WOMB

Wellington based trio WOMB is siblings Charlotte Forrester and Haz Forrester, along with Georgette Brown.

“Dust To Dust” continues on from the beautiful mix of unusual folk, psychedelia, and dream-pop explored on the first album.

Laura Lee Lovely

Our song for day 29 of New Zealand Music Month is a haunting synthpop re-imagining of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” by Chrsitchurch musician Laura Lee Lovely, called “Beyond The Rain”.

It’s technically a cover of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz” but re-engineered and reconstructed to such an extent it becomes its own song.

The synthpop is spacey 1980s retro-minimalism, like an early Human League single, and Laura Lee Lovely’s vocals have the kind of haunted and wistful dream-pop eeriness of Julee Cruise giving the song a kind of unsettling Twin Peaks vibe as well.

All in all, a magical kind of song for the last Friday in May 2020.

NZMM 2020



T G Shand

Our song for Day 3 of New Zealand Music Month 2020 comes from another Christchurch artist, T.G. Shand. It’s the title track of a just-released 4 song EP called “Golden Hour”.

T. G. Shand is Annemarie Duff ( Miniatures’ ) and the accomplished EP was self recorded/ produced.

“Golden Hour” is an enchanting dream-pop concoction, vocals floating on clouds of chorus and reverb guitars and programmed drums, in a way that inevitably will trigger memories for some of 1990s Cocteau Twins (“Heaven or Las Vegas” era onwards). It’s a high bar for a debut EP but “Golden Hour” (the song and the EP) is convincing and satisfies any shoegaze-to-dream-pop cravings you may have.

NZMM 2020

Womb 2020

First up for day one of PopLib’s 31 Days of May madness for NZ Music Month is WOMB with a new (April lockdown) release “Used to Be”:

WOMB is siblings Charlotte Forrester and Haz Forrester, along with Georgette Brown. The trio is based in Wellington and “Used To Be” precedes their second album “Under the Lights”. The song continues on from the beautiful mix of unusual folk, psychedelia, and dream-pop explored on the first album.

To support artists impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, on May 1, June 5, and July 3 (the first Friday of each month), Bandcamp is waiving their revenue share for all sales on Bandcamp, from midnight to midnight PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) on each day. New Zealand Standard Time is 19 hours behind New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) so here in NZ it is is 7pm Friday 1 May to 7pm Saturday 2 May.

We all “Used to Be” once, and hopefully soon we will resume, and continue to be, in some kind of post-pandemic ‘new normal’ involving small venue live music, which the music video for the song begins with…

NZMM 2020

Death and VanillaIt rains almost as much in Malmö, Sweden as it does in Dunedin, NZ, so let’s brighten a rainy grey Psychedelic Sunday in Dunedin NZ with the eerie atmospheric psychedelia of Death & Vanilla and “A Flaw in the Iris”:

“A Flaw in the Iris” is from the album “Are You A Dreamer?” released mid 2019 on Fire Records. Death & Vanilla are Marleen Nilsson, Magnus Bodin and Anders Hansson, and this album seems a lot less wilfully old-fashioned sounding than earlier Death & Vanilla recordings.  Lines between past, present and future are blurred, their  reverb-heavy dreampop given some psychedelic soul and a cosmiche music heart of gently motorik hypnotic beats.


Sports dreams

Sports Dreams is a duo from Palmerston North who have just released their first EP of low-key glorious dream-pop… or maybe that should be sports-dream-pop. Here’s the second song from the EP: “SD3”:

Sports Dreams is Shannen Petersen (Fruit Juice Parade) and Fraser Williams (First Move) and the songs collected on their self-titled EP are a simple but very effective combination of synth washes, languid guitar strums, drum machine and Petersen’s soaring vocals.

For a contemporary reference point for Sports Dreams sound I suppose you could consider Beach House on account of the keyboard/ guitar/ voice combination.

However, Sports Dreams offer a lot more to engage with for me. There’s a slightly claustrophic and menacing undercurrent in the atmosphere of suburban ennui of the mostly slow-paced songs.

The minimalist percussion, lush reverb-heavy layered synth tones, and the emotional weight of the vocals, conveying moments of both introspection and drama, remind me of melancholic Scottish band The Blue Nile and at times even a hint of post-4AD label era Cocteau Twins.  Dream-pop for nightmare times.