Browsing Tag

Dream-Pop

Niky Pasolini has unleashed her illuminating indie dream-pop single, Light On

Alt-Indie singer-songwriter, Niky Pasolini, will release her debut album, Update, on January 20th. We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the standout dream-pop single, Light On; from the first ring of the alt-90s guitars and bleeding Shoegazey vocals, we were hooked into the vulnerably delicate self-produced hit. With engrossing reminiscence to Sixpence None the Richer in the guitars and the sense of sentimentality Light On is as illuminating as the title alludes.

The London-based artist wrote, created and recorded the entirety of the album in a makeshift studio in her basement to provide a refreshing antithesis to the extensively produced plastic pop that does little more than scratch at the superficial surface lyrically.

Light On will be available to stream with the rest of Niky Pasolini’s debut album, which documents her coming-of-age story, on January 20th via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Under the Sun – Ocean Breeze: an ambient dreamwork of Lynchian cogitation

Ocean Breeze by Under The Sun

Adding a disarming new trajectory to the evolution of shoegaze, the Suffolk-based originator Under the Sun (Matt Catling) constructed an ambient dreamwork of Lynchian cogitation with their three-track release Ocean Breeze.

As hazy as the titular allusion, the opening title single carries the weight of driftwood as it traverses through the meditatively industrial layers of reprising synths and delay-filtered dreamy guitars. Mastered by none other than Simon Scott (Slowdive), Ocean Breeze is a scintillating adaption of the origins of ambient soundscapes, modernised through the essence of caustic 21st-century dystopia that leaks into the transcendence of the track.

The arrestive rhythms in Ocean Breeze are a testament to Under the Sun’s ability to create sonic worlds far more accommodating than the ones we’re physically bound to. Short of taking a trip to the 5th dimension, there’s no better escapism than the sanctity that flows just as mellifluously through the following singles, Whirlwind and Soft Focus.

With Whirlwind unravelling as a tribally psychonautic fever dream and Soft Focus exhibiting Branca-Esque tendencies enveloped by the bleeding lament of the vocals, it’s an evocative conclusion to a release you don’t realise how deeply you have enmeshed with until silence falls.

Stream Ocean Breeze on SoundCloud and Spotify, or purchase the release via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Tontine elevated UK alt-electro-pop with his dynamically soul-rendered debut EP, ‘I’

Alt-electro-pop artist, Tontine grabbed a pack of matches and set hearts alight with his debut EP, I. For all the diehard romantics out there, come and feel the heat of this evocative triumph of a 3-track release which radiates stylised soul.

The opening single, If I Could, goes in heavy on the exotic euphoria in the uniquely layered single. As the bass oscillates around the reverb-heavy synth lines and soft angular guitar work, the romanticism within Michael Walden’s vocal lines elevates the release to transcendent heights.

In track two, NIFE, Tontine revolutionises and reforms the pop ballad with the ethereal textures, flurries of intricate piano keys and yearning vocals that meld into the blossoming synthetics to prove the beauty in vulnerability. Grief is a deeply personal experience, but the losses mourned in NIFE share a universal resonance.

The concluding single, Only the Once, is a glitchy avant-garde dream-pop lullaby that allows soul to simmer through the complex chord progressions and lyrics, which crave a repetition of an act never destined to become a reprise.

“This is the first of three EPs I’ll be putting out over the next 12 months consisting of music I’ve been working on for a few years now. I want to showcase what I can do as an artist who writes, records, produces, and mixes everything themselves. This first collection of songs is centred around the theme of loss in various forms, and is a taste of bigger things to come.”

Tontine’s debut EP was officially released on December 9th. Catch it on SoundCloud & Spotify.

Follow Tontine on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

BREGN put the humanity in our collective anxiety with his reflectively expositional lo-fi folk single, YOU AND ME

Danish singer-songwriter, BREGN, gave humanity hope in his latest single, YOU AND ME, which was officially released on November 18th to dispel the disquiet anxiety spilling from each new global catastrophe.

BREGN’s minimalist soundscapes and the sonorous sense of soul in his quiescent harmonies always strike a visceral chord. With this new melancholic shift, YOU AND ME hit like a tonne of bricks. In the same way Slowdive can hammer home the emotion solely through their reverb-laced angular guitar notes, the guitars in this sombrely sweet single drive you to the brink of tears. Before the choral storm in the outro as a torridly dystopian crescendo pushes you over the emotional edge.

Here’s to hoping next summer gives us a chance to embrace the season free from an ever-pervasive sense of dread.

“YOU AND ME is a reflection of our times; a mix of summer, love, the insecurities imposed by war, political drama, and the deepening energy crisis. There is hope in the continuation of believing that there is still a “You and Me” at the end of the day, that is what I wanted to convey.”

Listen to YOU AND ME on SoundCloud and Spotify.

Follow BREGN via Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Australian singer-songwriter, Ted, sang an insurgent indie-psych-folk lullaby in his latest single, Revolution Then

The Australian Indie-Folk singer-songwriter Ted’s latest single, Revolution Then, is definitive proof you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

The artfully quiescent call for sense to coalesce with postulation resonates like a semi-lucid lullaby, affirming enlightenment doesn’t always need to be synonymous with anger and despair. Sometimes, it is just enough to be on the right side of history.

While Elliott Smith’s records will always be there to soothe us in our darkest hours, he’s no longer here to transcribe humanity’s darkest hours. That crown has evidently fallen upon Ted, who is fearless in his quest to hold a mirror to the most tragic facets of our existence before reflecting them through his psych-tinged arrangements crafted in the mellifluous framework of his music, constructed by guitars, bass, drums, sax and keys – all recorded from his bedroom studio to feed us the intimacy we never knew we craved in these polarity-defined times.

“The song is loosely based on the French Revolution. I was inspired by some more recent political events which occurred in the US. I wanted to convey this in a way that was like telling an old story to a child, like in a nursery rhyme.”

Stream Revolution Then via Spotify.

Follow Ted on Instagram and TikTok.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

JRMR synthesised the ultimate ambient dream pop instrumental score with his latest single, wind dust.

‘wind dust.’ Is the latest stylishly synthetic single from the up-and-coming experimental music producer JRMR (Jon Munoz). The tranquil beguile of the ambiently dreamy textures allow you to key into transcendental Beach House-Esque tones for two short but sweet minutes as the shimmering reverb washes over you, bringing catharsis in every cinematic wave.

Since his 2019 debut, the Puerto Rican experimentalist has remained prolific by releasing a string of singles which set the anticipation for his first mixtape, death is an illusion that glows in the dark. With that titular nod to the philosophy of the enigmatic artist, you get a clue to the psyche from which his sonically spectacular singles were born. It is one that I, for one, can get on board with, and it seems I’m not alone in my penchant for JRMR’s experimental dream pop aesthetics. His most popular single, avarice. has clocked up over 17k streams on Spotify alone.

Head over to Spotify to add wind dust. to your playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Amber Jade Smith offers ethereal redemption in the celestial avant-garde grace of her single, Chains

Alluding to the shackling nature of toxic dynamics to the tune of lush reverb over Avant-Garde pop synths, Amber Jade Smith’s single, Chains, painted her as the PJ Harvey of her generation.

The South Wales-born Devon-based artist takes influence from Stevie Nicks, Daughter and Radiohead, but evidently, her sonic signature has never been scribed before. Lyrically the artist that has garnered airplay from BBC Introducing, Remembering the 90s, XRP Radio, Riviera FM, and EatMusicFM finds inspiration from her early traumas and battles with mental health.

Based on Chains, Amber Jade Smith will undoubtedly help others process their own grief and trauma. Beyond the artistry and cleverly resonant wordplay, there’s ample opportunity to find redemption within the ethereal layers of Chains which practically operates within the realm of the sonically celestial. Her devilishly demure vocal presence is well and truly something to behold.

Chains officially released on October 28th; check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Minneapolis Shoegaze Revivalists, Lumari, Look into The ‘Neon Mirror’ in Their Inexplicably Alchemic Latest Single

Lumari

Pull yourself away from your Souvlaki, Loveless and Whirlpool albums and sink into the sublime reverb-drenched alchemy in the Minneapolis Dream Pop powerhouse, Lumari’s latest single, Neon Mirror.

With just a touch more intensity in the droning guitars that cradle the ethereally demure soul in Margo Pearson’s vocals which caress you on a multi-sensory level, Lumari achieved what so few shoegaze revivalists manage in this beguile-some release. They stayed true to the originator’s sound while throwing in plenty of their own post-modern flavour.

With touches of I Wanna Be Adored in the downward spirals of pulsating rhythm, there’s nostalgia to be here for sure; there’s also an unpredictability to the structuring of the inexplicably gripping release that stands testament to their songwriting and instrumental prowess.

Prior to founding Lumari, the founding members, Dave and Dan West could be found in the punk scene, opening for Green Day, NOFX and the Offspring. Once their tastes matured into an affinity for post-modern rock and Britpop, they teamed up with shoegaze lover Robert Caple and producer Eric Olson before completing the outfit with Margo Pearson.

Neon Mirror will officially release on November 11th. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Peppler lulled us into optimistic gratitude with his dream folk serenade, Blessed

Creating ample anticipation for his upcoming dream folk album releasing in early 2023, the acoustic folk artist Peppler exposed his old soul in his lead single, Blessed.

Entwining the warm vintage tones of 60s and 70s folk with a modern signature dream pop sound that only Peppler can call his own, Blessed is effortlessly efficacious in beckoning you into the beguiling grace of the release. Which needed no more than accordant acoustic guitars, a harmonica and Peppler’s consolingly dulcet tones to lull you into gratified catharsis.

Lyrically, Blessed optimistically reinforces the message that we are blessed within ourselves and that trust that it will all work out is never misplaced. It’s a simple message, but one worth reiterating, given our tendency to curse every downfall and diminish everything positive. Notably, artistically thriving within pure, simplistic minimalism is Peppler’s gift, one that he’s worked tirelessly to perfect after eight years of performing live and crafting albums with various projects.

Watch Blessed live from the G7 Recording Studio on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Life is but a melancholic dream in ALCHA’s candied cinematic alt-pop debut, Steady

‘Steady’ is stylishly cinematic alt-pop debut from the Parisian singer-songwriter, composer, and producer ALCHA (Alec Chassain), who amassed ample creative inspiration during his time in London before getting to work on his introspective dream pop project in 2021.

With the melodies containing blisters of Beach House and a touch of Grandaddy, ALCHA orchestrated a refreshingly original soundscape to pour his uninhibitedly honest vocals into, which will undoubtedly be a hit with any fans of John Grant. Although, admittedly, ALCHA boasts infinitely more affability than John Grant in his nuancedly quirky vocal delivery that rings with a sting of melancholy. Yet, Steady is the ultimate testament to his ability to pull luminous creativity out of dark spaces. If Steady doesn’t give you a soft spot for ALCHA, you’re officially made of stone.

Steady was officially released on November 4th. It is now available to stream on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast