Don’t often get asked to share tunes from Belgium, so when I got this new Turquoise single, I had to jump at the chance right? It just so happens that the song’s this dark bit of dreamy pop that suits my tastes, so an added bonus. After some quick synth stabs, the bass line begins to brood beneath the mixture, coated in these heavy vocal notes. But, when the song hits that chorus, it opens up a bit, like a ray of light sort of bursting through the cracks of the song. If you’re into it, this single comes with a more pensive bit of pop on the B-side, so be sure to stop by and check out our new Belgian friends.
One of my absolute favorite dream pop acts, Phantom Handshakes, has a new single out this week, and they’ve given us an advance listen we’d regret if we didn’t share with you immediately. Understated jingles hang on the horizon, waiting for the drums and synth washes to catch up, while Federica’s voice coos atop the mix. Once the opening verse kicks in, my focus immediately shifted to that vocal; it has this really unique way of hanging a tonal switch at the end of each syllable. There’s also a moment when she steps away from the sort of shimmering nature, and delivers this softer melodic vocal that perfectly slides into the mix. Toss that performance in with the classic twinkling guitar sound, and you’ve got yet another hit on your hands; I hope we get a follow up to No More Summer Songs real soon.
I’ve written about Chicago’s Blue Cove previously, and with another single floating out there, I wanted to be sure it got some love from me. This track begins with a really nice vocal working over a lightly strummed guitar, setting you up for the drop in around the 50 second mark. It’s here that the song transcends the opening and begins to churn the music into something more akin to the dreamier realms of pop music we found on their first single. Throughout, the vocals continue to wash against your speakers, constantly hitting you with those hazy notes that encourage your midweek daydreams.
When you’re dropping Beach House and Cocteau Twins references, you’re generally going to get a listen from me. Such was the case when I came across this new track from Plastic Mirror, and I’m glad I took the time here, as the tune will surely reward those with similar tastes. For this track, I’m feeling more of the Beach House vibe, with the duo letting the song takes its own approach to the opens space the guitars and drums create. In the chorus, you get a nice hook, though it doesn’t feel too obvious, playing off the dreaminess just a bit more. It’s early, and the perfect place to indulge your dreams, so turn this tune on and enjoy.
I was super in love with No More Summer Songs, the debut LP from Brooklyn’s Phantom Handshakes; they’ve just returned with this little pop delicacy to sneak into your day. Listening through, the musical elements feel really dense, but in a certain manner, they stay out of the way, letting Federica’s voice sparkle in the front of the mix. Having spent a lot of time with the band’s work, this might be her best vocal performance; she has masterful control over the melodic tones, letting them hang in the air as the guitars rise from behind to support. Flat out, the band rips. Plus, all digital sales have proceeds going to Emergency.
Chicago’s music scene has definitely been a hot place to find some great tunes the last few months, and here we are with this new track from Blue Cove. The band currently operate in the dream pop realm, toying with the more boisterous brand once the song hits the 2 minute mark; it explodes, almost seeming to raise the volume as the jangling guitar lines burst through your speakers. They never seem to lose sight of the hook, which inevitably seems to revolve around Steph Nikolas’ vocals. They’ve had a bunch of tunes float out, so keep your eyes peeled for news on an official release any day.
Sweden’s Boy with Apple have been hitting us with some really solid hits this year, and this might be the last tune we get for a minute, as the group head into the studio to record their debut album. This track kicks off with a little breakbeat, a throwback to all the sounds of late night 90s parties. But, it’s not nostalgia by any means, quickly shifting gears to move into the modern dream pop realm with these coated vocals and warm melodies caressing the backbeat. They’re combining the feel good elements of pop music with the darker corners of all things “gaze,” and I can definitely get behind that.
We’re big fans of Swedish hitmakers No Suits in Miami, and it looks like we’re not the only ones out there, as the group just announced they’re signing up with Shelflife to help release their new record. We’ve covered a few of the singles attached below, but when groups you love go big, you’ve got to send out a reminder. The four songs below all offer a tethered dream pop vibe, though I think each one illustrates the diversity the group aim to bring to Nothing Ever Happens; I think I’m definitely backing “Buffy” as one of my favorite tunes on this whole LP. The whole album drops on March 25th, but pressing play below allows you to sample four great pop tunes!
When browsing through the SXSW list, I always go after the foreign bands coming overseas, as they don’t always get a chance to return. Checking that list, that’s how I was reintroduced to Germany’s Roller Derby, offering this buoyant dream pop, pulsing from beneath the song’s surface. Phline Meyer’s vocals have this sort of sparkling indifference, or perhaps that calmed cool that makes you want to know all her secrets; it adds a nice layer to the tune as the single dances around with jittering guitar notes. And, if you’re looking to be charmed, then don’t shy away from the beautiful chorus the band bring forth in this track. Definitely a rad band to keep in mind!
The Baello brothers, Louie and Christian, just sprung up recently on my radar with their Dream, Ivory work, and I’m absolutely salivating as the band continue to sprinkle tunes into the world. This latest single has this beautiful patience to it, using the crystalline guitar lines to create this ethereal atmosphere that feels cinematic in nature. As the tune progresses, the jangling notes absorb more textures, giving the track the slightest buoyancy and bop, though never overdone, bringing in the perfect balance between dreaming and play. The brothers will embark on a tour in June through the US, so keep your eyes peeled for dates!