I’ve been covering Tape Waves since their earliest days on Bleeding Gold Records, so its great to hear that the band have signed up with one of our favorite labels Emotional Response for their next LP. And, because you can’t really announce a new record without a single, they’ve thrown us one of those to boot! The song’s got this steady rhythmic bounce to it, giving the song a sturdy background that enables Kim and Jarod to craft the perfect slice of Friday dream pop. Kim’s voice are perfectly softened against the crystalline guitars sparkling behind her; this feels like a very Sarah adjacent pop sound, along the lines of early Heavenly or recent acts like Luxembourg Signal. Some sharpened guitar chords dance about in the song’s middle, giving a nice dose of joy to the listener as the tune fades to a close. Look for Bright on June 4th!
As you settle into the day, its always nice to have something that lets you take on more of that contemplative mood, like this track from Seattle’s Coral Grief. The song has this prominent heartbeat, pulsing beneath the mix in matching step with a snare hit to really let your mind focus on the guitars and vocals. In the guitars, you get that crisp jangling that fades into the air, sort of like Spring showers falling intermittently all around you. Lena Farr-Morrissey has this wondrous voice, it kind of seems like its stretching itself around every nook and cranny of the track, but for my basic bitch ears, I couldn’t hear a place where she went wrong. You’ll find this tune on the group’s self-titled EP, which is out on May 14th.
We’re back with another fresh tune from the forthcoming Phantom Handshakes LP, No More Summer Songs. As I listen through this, I have a feeling that the band are sort of at the pinnacle of dream pop; they’re utilizing these crisp guitar notes, faintly fading into the dreamscape. The drum work is steady, almost like a metronome keeping the time so everything can swirl melodically around it. Federica Tessano’s voice has the perfect tonal quality to seep into your skin; just let your body absorb those melodic notes and cool your soul. Not quite sure this genre gets much better than this! No More Summer Songs drops on April 30th via Z Tapes.
I first got into Belinda May last year when they shared a tune via Fastcut Records, but this is the latest single from the Japanese outfit, paying homage to My Little Lover. It’s got all those crisp jangling guitar notes that make me swoon, plus it packs this huge hook-laden punch by using dual vocals to harmonize throughout the song. You could maybe drop in some heavier guitars and have a beautiful shoegaze sound, but as always, this bunch prefer to keep things wholly in the pop realm, letting melody and dreaminess lull you into sedation. Enjoy this one!
CIEL had one of my favorite tracks of 2020, and they don’t seem like they want to lose that crown in 2021, dropping in this delightful new single full of dreamy charms. Michelle Hendriks’ voice will definitely encourage a recall to Alvvays, and that’s never a bad thing on this end. Musically, the band take a classic doo wop brand of sugary pop soda, then coat it with a little bit of fuzz to blankety you in melody. Guitars shred in the distance midway, proving the point that this is more than just a little treat for your ears. This is the dream pop jam you didn’t know you needed, but now you do!
Really quietly, Tres Oui dropped a few new songs this week, though these tunes have been in the work for some time. Luckily, one of those jams gets a nice little video treatment, featuring some live footage with Nate textured atop with various effects. The song itself is a great jam, with the vocals pushing this emphatic tone in just the right spots; it feels like its a story about maturation, but I won’t go throwing words in anyone’s mouth. It’s never a bad day at the office when this lot throws a a dreamy jangle our way…and besides this video you can also find another new tune, “Oh Guitar.” Listen, won’t you?
It’s really great to watch the evolution of a band’s sound over a few years, like we’ve been fortunate enough to do with Waves of Dread. They’re still churning out these tunes that likely fall under the realm of dream pop/shoegaze, but it’s clear that they’ve pulled back the shattering wall of noise, or perhaps just covered it up with a nice little throw blanket. In doing so, the song’s seem to have this resonance, like this echo of beautiful noise that truly does make create an astral quality that matches the title. Though, I must admit at one point my mind went to an image of my running at dusk amidst a heavy Spring shower…it was slow-mo and very cinematic. This song has those feels.
When Ciel dropped their Movement EP back in April, I was pretty awestruck; I played “The Shore” on repeat for weeks on end. They return today with a brand new track, drawing from similar territory, though raising the bar on their own sweetened brand of dream pop. Things start off as you’d expect, nice thick rhythm and softened vocals. But, the change in attitude at the 45 second mark indicates that the band intend to go huge on their new wave of songs; this is still dreamy, but they’re not burying any hooks here…just the opposite. Probably going to have this tune stuck in my head for a bit…how about you?
Perhaps I’m too easy to please, but there are definitely some easy indiepop tricks that sucker me into a good tune, not that The Luxembourg Signal need employ such tactics to win me over. Nonetheless, one such little nuance pulled me deep into this tune, and it happens right at the 58 second mark. Up until then, we’ve got a casually meandering guitar line over some structured rhythm with softened vocals. But, and its slight, another guitar crashes the party, allowing the drums to join in with a heavier hand, pushing the song into the dream pop perfection. It’s like indiepop slight of hand, and that’s not the only ace up the sleeve in this track…you’ll have to listen with a close early to catch some other nuanced moments, so go on and peel this pop banana back. The Long Now will be out on October 23 via Shelflife and Spinout Nuggets.
Mike Lee is just churning out the dreamy pop hits; month after month we get a dreamy pop tune from his new project Family Mart. This reminds me a lot of some of the later work from Pains of Being Pure at Heart; its sort of peeled away that distortion-heavy guitar sound in favor of a lighter swirling sound. Personally, I love the 1 minute mark when the jangling guitar chord pops in to work in contrast with the tracks main sound, leaving you with the slightest hook to reel in the listener. Plus, some Audrey Scott backing vocals add in a nice thick melody to work with Lee’s voice. Tuesday can’t start until you’ve had your pop!