Archives for posts with tag: dreampop

Back to NZ, where’s there’s been a flurry of new releases as summer turns to autumn downunder. One person Ōtautahi/ Chr istchurch-based shoegaze pop enigma T. G. Shand (Annemarie Duff) has just released a new song “Little Sieve” also available as a very limited edition lathe-cut single.

Compared to the preceding single “Seats” released in December – a thrilling mix of electro-clash of Curve-style crunchy drum-heavy layered guitar rock, clattering post-punk bass, Cocteau Twins-style liquid guitars and a hyper-melodic chorus of layered heavenly voices – “Little Sieve” here dials back the noise for a blissful a lighter-than-air atmospheric dream-gaze-pop song, delivered in a vocal version and in an equally wonderful instrumental version mixed with field recordings.

Mint Field 2019Here’s a Psychedelic Sunday treat from Tijuana, Mexico and the shape-shifting sounds of Mint Field – “Ella Se Queda”:

Mint Field have followed up their 2018 debut album ‘Pasar de la Luces’ with a 5 song 25 minute EP called “Mientras Esperas” which continues and expands the horizons of their unique combination of psych rock, dream-pop, shoegaze and krautrock.

The duo of Amor Amezcua and Estrella del Sol Sánchez has also expanded to a trio with the addition of  with bass player Sebastian Neyra joining the band for the ‘Pasar de la Luces’ tour, and for this EP, which was recorded in a couple of days during a stop-off in Los Angeles.

Too Tone NZ Music Month

NZ Music Every Godzone Month! sign from Too Tone Records in Dunedin.

Our New Zeland Music Month day #24 song is a recent single from Auckland bedroom pop musician Lucky Boy^ called “Turn Off That Light”.

Lucky Boy^ is Auckland resident Simeon Kavanagh-Vincent and there’s a small treasure trove of recent recordings uploaded to Bandcamp this month. The “Lo fi” and “indie” Bandcamp tags tell us everything and absolutely nothing.

If you have a head full of music like I do, the crunchy fuzz’n’compression bass part here may remind you of the style of Chris Squire’s bass part from “Starship Trooper” by Yes. The drum machines bludgeon out unrestful patterns in a style similar to what once anchored the intoxicating sonic mist of early Cocteau Twins songs. The guitars provide woozy, languid amorphous shoegaze/ dream-pop atmospherics akin to the odd dream-like textures on A R Kane’s “69” album.  The vocals are melodic and soulful yet held in the middle distance with reverb and light distortion.

Annoying as these kind of random, un-connected references to music you may never have heard of may be, it’s just me trying to make sense and find some order to explain what is a highly effective approach to music-making. I doubt any of these are influences or inspirations at all, just coincidences. It may be “lo fi” and “indie” and DIY bedroom pop but it’s in a different league to most of the music flying that flag of convenience.

If you like (love) this single, be warned there are three (THREE!) albums uploaded by Lucky Boy^ so far in May, each one offering a different sonic approach but a similar kind of approach to this single.

elenin_facebook-photo.jpgJakarta, Indonesia seems an unlikely place to find some of the best shoegaze bands on the planet, but Elenin are one of many bands from Indonesia continuing to develop the reverb-washed chiming guitar dream-pop style. Here’s their superb “Turtleneck”.

Elenin are Ramadhina Dewi (Vocals, Synth), Aga Rasyidi (Guitar, Vocals), Yudistira Abjani (Guitar, Vocals), Adrian Rinaldi (Bass, Vocals) and Niko Bimantara (Drums). “Turtleneck” chimes with perfect melodic shoegaze energy right from the first note and Dewi’s wistfully melancholic vocals are a perfect foil for the quieter passages between the miasma of guitar sound in the choruses.

If you like the sound of Elenin, check out their fine 3-track EP “Massa Masa” released last year, and the other bands on Don’t Fade Away Records too.

purple-pilgrims-2016“Is You Real?” arrives near the start of Purple Pilgrims‘ debut album “Eternal Delight” and transports you far away to another world.

It’s a perfect delight to introduce an album that lives up to its name. This track – and the whole album – carefully stirs together psychedelia, ritualistic mantra, hypnotic folk music and dreampop.

Despite the hazy charm on the surface, there is always a hint of something a little ominous or disturbing beneath the surface in their music, as with earlier offerings from Purple Pilgrims. In literature and fairy tales the concept of “Eternal Delight” always came with a catch…

“Eternal Delights” was conceived and recorded by Purple Pilgrims – sisters Clementine and Valentine Adams – in the forests of the Coromandel, east of Auckland, NZ.

The album is available on CD and LP on Not Not Fun Records.

Purple Pilgrims LP.jpg

clever-calvinClever Calvin’s “Don’t You Think I Think So” is a warm and sleepy song wrapped in a sonic duvet of drifting haziness.

The two guitars here meander in such a way your ears want to follow them wherever they go. The lovely hissing background wash here is reminiscent of the sound rain squalls make when they hit a window in a Dunedin winter. Or an Auckland winter I guess, as that is where Clever Calvin is based. It’s comforting, in an odd kind of way, as long as you are indoor and the heater is on when the squalls hit.

Pretty sure Clever Calvin is the artist formerly known as Fluids. Fluids have removed the song “Hello Learning” we shared here back in May but this song certainly shares the same lo-fi psychedelic DIY spirit, with that gentle reminder of A R Kane’s hazy euphoric dreampop rush. There’s a Clever Calvin album promised, so bookmark that bandcamp page above as this will be one to check out when it appears.

Egoism_2016_Photo by Vanilla Docherty Photography

Egoism – by Vanilla Docherty Photography

The world is full of conflicting egos so, to avoid conflict with a similarly-named band, Sydney’s Ego return as Egoism with “Reason” as the lead single to the band’s first EP which is due out in October.

“Reason” contains everything we’ve come to expect from this intriguing young band. It’s a more polished recording than the previous excellent singles – “Moon”, “Better” and “Crowd”, adding layers and space to their lush reverb soundscape.

They call it ‘dream-pop’ and ‘shoe-gaze’ but happily it also still maintains that distinctively spacey early 1970s ‘soft-rock’ sound of those earlier recordings.

Another feature of those earlier songs was brilliant space-rock guitar solos and “Reason” maintains the tradition with an explosive solo before another familiar feature – a wordless layered vocal outro.

Looking forward to hearing the whole EP now.




Day 8 of NZ Music Month is from Auckland bedroom recording artist/ band (?) Fluids and the dreamy swirling cloud of noise they have called “Hello Learning :)”

Don’t know anything about Fluids other than that they are from Auckland, but do know that this is cool and the meandering guitars over muted but urgent percussion bit at the end is dreamy psychedelia.

It reminds me a bit of the dislocated wooziness of those odd late 1980s AR Kane singles on 4AD from a life ago which is just fine, too.


Purple PilgrimsPurple Pilgrims  have just released an LP ‘Eternal Delight’ – on 26 February on the US label Not Not Fun. Here’s what may be an atypical song from them and from the album.

“Thru Evry Cell” is the most conventionally song-structured recording I’ve heard so far from Purple Pilgrims. But even here they manage to sound utterly dislocated from everyday reality, particularly the way the voices are almost lost in a narcotic haze of lush reverb.

This is great – it’s breezy, full of pop hooks and a welcoming production. But at the same time it manages to still carry some not-quite-right menace in a similar way to Julee Cruise’s “Twin Peaks” soundtrack songs. In fact if David Lynch is looking for some music for the proposed new series of “Twin Peaks” he would find a perfect fit with Purple Pilgrims.

Maybe it’s just a sense from listening to  their previous recordings, but it seems like there’s a shadow behind every apparently bright and colourful sounding moment here and a sense of foreboding that there is something lurking in those shadows which seeks each listeners’ soul.

Here’s a Radio NZ video of the song performed in their Coromandel base.

There’s a video for another song from the album – “Forever” – on Vimeo here. Can’t wait to hear the whole album now.



For Day 10 of the unofficial Australian Music Month Trans-Tasman exploration I thought I should look for something outside the Bedroom Suck Records or Chapter Music catalogues. So I went for a random search on Bandcamp…. and eventually came across Melbourne band Lowtide and ‘Blue Movie’ from a forthcoming (July) album:

Lowtide are Giles Simon, Lucy Buckeridge, Gabriel Lewis, Anton Jakovljevic. Two things of note here – the first is they have two bass players which gives that lower end a nice chorus-phased kind of thing going on like early Cocteau Twins. The second is they must be huge fans of UK shoegaze sonic architects Slowdive. The name Lowtide would seem to be a play on that and the music is similarly hazy, washed out and just as gloriously dreamy and wonderful. I’d like to hear more than just this track on preview here so I’ll have to keep an eye out for the album on Melbourne’s Lost & Lonesome label.