So if Sam Fender and Dua Lipa rock up in your sleep one night, does that make Dream Pop?
Well... No. In actuality Dream Pop is a sonic blend of celestial vocals, electric synths and dreamy distortion, and closely linked to the grittier sounding Shoegaze genre. The immersive soundscape Dream Pop creates for the listener is what defines it, and when listening you'll find yourself being introduced to psychedelic rock's enigmatic relative.
Many see Dream Pop's defining introduction into the industry being thanks to Cocteau twins in the mid-80s. Their catalogue is characterized by their innovative use of whimsical guitar progressions, distortion, and experimental vocals. Their album 'Heaven or Las Vegas' is still a muse for modern day Dream Pop and a timeless creation restricted to no decade.
Nowadays, whether you're a listener or not, it's hard to steer clear from Dream Pop as it crops up in popular HipHop samples and trending TikTok sounds. ChoondUp has picked 5 classic and new wave Dream Pop tracks, to kickstart your love for this mystifying sub-genre.
Souvlaki Space Station - Slowdive
Starting off with a Dream Pop classic a is 'Souvlaki Space Station' by Slowdive. In this pioneering release, Slowdive weave in and out of gritty guitar chords layered with meticulous reverb and distant vocals. 'Souvlaki Space Station' also pulls on a lot of elements from the heavier Shoe Gaze, so is a great introduction to the complex, sonic textures you hear throughout both genres.
Ocra - Jadu Heart
Jadu Heart's entire catalogue is a gift to Dream Pop lover's, so picking one for the list was a tough decision. Their track 'Ocra', in our eyes, perfectly embodies Dream Pop's lighter, more ethereal tones. This track steers away from heavier guitar elements and instead incorporates warped synths, leaving a spotlight for Diva-Sachy Jeffrey and Alex Headford's entrancing vocals.
Master of None - Beach House
American duo Beach House are the stars of the show in new wave Dream Pop, and their distinctive sound has even been picked up by HipHop & RnB frontmen Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd. 'Master of None' is a slow burner track scattered with twinkling instrumentation and scattered guitar patterns; A must-listen for any Dream Pop newbies.
Only in My Dreams - The Marías
The Marías track 'Only in My Dreams' opens with a distorted combination of scattered keys and sound effects. Instantly, as the name and the genre suggests, you're transported straight into a immersive dreamstate. This track is perfect for new listeners, as it fuses elements of Dream Pop with jazz psychedelica and soothing guitar riffs, making it a super easy listen.
Is This Where It Ends - Nabihah Iqbal
'Is This Where It Ends by Nabihah Iqbal is a Dream Pop gift on the senses, with a retro feel that plays ode to Dream Pop pioneers Cocteau Twins. It's full of strong guitar riffs, whimsical chord progressions and balanced with Iqbal's swooping vocals. As the track progresses we really see the genre's ability to leave you floating and immersed among layers and layers of sonic textures.