Tag Archives: Dream-pop


By J Quigley

By J Quigley

The band formed from the ashes of legendary Portland favourite, the Bella Low, who played regular gigs with other local psych bands like The Dandy Warhols.  After the Bella Low breakup former members Clint Sargent (lead guitar, vocals), Luke Strahota (drums/percussion) and Violet Bianca Grace picked up the pieces from the band’s crash and formed The High Violets in 1998.  Current lineup includes Kaitlyn ni Donovan (vocals, guitar) and Colin Sheridan (bass guitar) with Heroes and Halos being the band’s sixth release after a six year wait.



Holy Wave

Based in El Paso, Texas, Holy Wave (Kyle Hager, Dustin Zozaya, Julian Ruiz, Joey Cook, Ryan Fuson) is riding the wave (!) of the contemporary psych-rock revival.

Adept at combining sympathetic elements of psych-rock, shoe-gaze and dream pop, the music on Freaks of Nurture will appeal to a wide range of rock lovers. Sounding timeless yet fresh, Freaks of Nurture is a work of passionate art that transcends mere genre.

“She Put a Seed in my Ear”, “Wendy Go Round”, “Western Playland”, “California Took My Bobby Away” and so on!

Sounds Like
Temples, Tame Impala, Thee Oh Sees, Spacemen 3.

Bottom Line
Probably the most likely style of modern rock that will break into the mainstream consciousness. Hopefully sooner than later.

Official Site: https://holywave.bandcamp.com/

Buy now!



It seems like a disservice to Deafheaven to simply describe the band (George Clarke, Kerry McCoy Daniel Tracy, Stephen Clark & Shiv Mehra) as a Black Metal outfit.

Sure, the music carries all the hallmarks of the extreme metal genre viz. fast tempos, shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking but Deafheaven is much more. Halfway through the opening track (“Brought to the Water”) of their new album, New Bermuda, the song takes on an incongruous atmospheric dream pop tone that changes the emotional tone significantly before it ends with a solo piano playing the chord progression! Unexpected.

After the critical acclaim showered on sophomore effort, Sunbather, it’s comforting to note that Deafheaven have not compromised their high standards on New Bermuda. It would not be out of place to suggest that this is what progressive rock sounds like in 2015 – the exploration of new frontiers and exciting cross-pollinating hybrids indicate that talented and courageous music creators are out there on the fringes of modern rock making fresh & wildly innovative popular music.

This creativity continues for the rest of New Bermuda in songs that never go under eight minutes (the epic “Luna” and the invigorating “Baby Blue” cross the 10 minute mark!) but never overstay their welcome in any way. Not falling into the inherent obsolescence of staying within genre boundaries, Deafheaven fly free of all constraints and totally against type have created transcendent rock music that even the most optimistic of us believers thought was now impossible!


Released at the very beginning 2014, Colours of Joy, the sophomore album from Indonesian indie band lightcraft is quite the thing of beauty. Whilst its live dynamic is waves of shoegazey dreamy noise pop, the sonic agenda on this album is more lilting, more subtle and ultimately more graceful.

And this marked contrast works brilliantly from a recording perspective where there is less pressure to deliver an immediate high. It’s quite impossible not to fall in love with the luscious sounds and melancholy sentiments evident on songs like “Amazing Grace” and “Get Out on Your Way” – singer Imam’s voice is almost a ghostly whisper hovering like an angel over swaths of heavenly constructs.

Things do get slightly more expansive in the epic soundscapes of “The Other Side of the Glass”, “Starlit Eyes” and “Hello Goodbye” which are both more representative of the band’s live sound albeit without sacrificing an iota of the emotional resonance that marks lightcraft’s work.

If I had to make comparisons, I would have to say that lightcraft reminds me of a more stripped down version of one of my favourite bands – Starflyer 59. Believe me, as high as the standards Jason Martin has set, lightcraft do a more than credible job in evoking the same nuances, references and power. Highly recommended.

Connect with lightcraft!



THE CHOIR Burning Like The Midnight Sun (Galaxy21)

There’s so much going on about this new album from The Choir that would recommend itself to fans of the post-punk revival, 90s shoegaze/dream pop and good old 80s college rock. However, I can sense that most of you reading this are going to scratch your heads and wonder aloud if I mean The Church instead? (and if you’re still scratching your head – I give up!?!)

Continue reading THE CHOIR


ADAM FRANKLIN & BOLTS OF MELODY I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years (Second Motion)

A new album by Adam Franklin hardly seems likely to cause a ripple in the modern rock scene. But those in the know would be aware of Franklin’s influential work with shoegaze/noise pop pioneers Swervedriver (which released four albums in the 90s). Those not in the know, will probably continue to believe that bands like Glasvegas, Asobi Seksu, Stars and the like emerged like Athena fully formed from the head of Zeus.

Since Swervedriver’s break-up, Franklin has been involved in several projects (including Toshack Highway and Magnetic Morning) before settling down as a solo artist. I Could Sleep For A Thousand Years is Franklin’s latest offering and if you dug Swervedriver’s exciting blend of trad rock values with the noise pop aesthetic, you will find much to savor here.

The effects pedals have been kept to a minimum with greater emphasis on song structure. Of course, the guitars let rip on Yesterday Has Gone Forever, I’ll Be Yr Mechanic, I Want You Now, Sinking Ships and the seven-minute Take Me To My Leader. However, for the rest of the album, the guitar atmospherics and ambience are utilized to embellish the songs. And there are good ones here e.g. She’s Closer Than I’ve Ever Been, Mary Gunn and Pink Floyd-evoking Lord Help Me Jesus, I’ve Wasted A Soul.

Basically essential for all 90s shoegaze fans.

Official Site | Myspace

Buy At Amazon


GRAND ATLANTIC How We Survive (Laughing Outlaw)

Y’know, its about time for the excellent rock music of the 90s to make a comeback. Seriously folks, there’s the power pop of Teenage Fanclub and Superdrag, the dream pop of Ride and House of Love and the Britpop of Oasis and Blur, to name but few, to revive. Add these elements with a straight ahead rockist attitude and what you get is timeless kick-ass rock that makes no apologies and takes no prisoners.

Aussie band Grand Atlantic’s How We Survive LP contains all these wonderful factors, which makes it one of the most immediate albums I’ve heard so far this year. Songs like Coast is Clear, She’s A Dreamer and the title track cover all the right reference points for fans of 90s rock music.

This gratifying album is a briliant evocation of a special musical epoch and is thus highly recommended.

Music video of She’s A Dreamer below.

Official Site