Dream Pop is in its own little subcategory of music. Loosely stemming from the 1980s New Wave movement, somewhere between The Cocteau Twins and Depeche Mode, it is, simply put, strange and eerie noise that is somehow pleasing to the ear. The ethereal combination of synthesizers and traditional rock/pop instruments creates an atmosphere rather than a normal, message-oriented song, leaving a great deal of the meaning open to the listener’s interpretation. The resulting feeling is like something invented in an abstract dream. To celebrate this strangeness, take a look at this dream pop-inspired edition of The Weekly List.
1. “Svefn-g-englar” – Sigur Rós
Do you have an affinity for Icelandic people and ten minutes to spare? This peaceful but impossible to pronounce song might be your thing. The scraping of a bowed guitar and high pitched vocals carry listeners through this trippy experience.
2. “Little Bit” – Lykke Li
Another unique sound comes from this Swedish-born performer. Layered percussion and plucks of a mandolin create a well blended piece could be easy-listening or something to dance to.
3. “Venus as a Boy” – Björk
Back to Iceland we go for this jazz influenced, baroque inspired song, featuring great use of soft violin and Björk’s unique vocals.
4. “Oblivion” – Grimes
The heavily altered vocals in this track sound like echoing whispers muttering indecipherable words, and are oddly enchanting. The lyrics themselves seem unimportant in light of the song’s intricate synth work.
5. “Fineshrine” – Purity Ring
“Witch house,” an even smaller sub genre often tied with dream pop, has often been used to describe Purity Ring. It is defined by choppy, dark bits of electronic and pop music to make an almost disturbing product. “Fineshrine” takes this idea and turn it into something oddly beautiful.
6. “Dropla” – Youth Lagoon
The first American artist on the list, but with difficult to describe music. “Dropla” is intentionally distorted, presenting lo-fi vocals over a pristine synth beat to tell a message of love and loss.
7. “Lazuli” – Beach House
This sounds like a prettier version of the Tetris theme.
8. “Earth Intruders” – Björk
We return to everyone’s favorite Icelander for this aggressive, truly bizarre track that has a distinctly tribal vibe. Howling vocals and steady drums give a deep message about what very well could be an alien invasion.
9. “Away Frm U” – Oberhofer
A more traditional alt-rock vibe rings out in this song. Intelligible lyrics and reliance on guitars and drums bring a fun surf punk attitude to the dream pop genre.
That’s it for this edition of the Weekly List. Keep on listening to weird stuff.