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Dream pop

dream pop, dream pop group
Dream pop or dreampop7 is a subgenre of alternative rock1 and neo-psychedelia3 that developed in the 1980s1 The style is typified by a preoccupation with atmosphere and texture as much as melody8


  • 1 Characteristics
  • 2 History
  • 3 List of artists
  • 4 References


See also: Gothic rock

The AllMusic Guide to Electronica defines dream pop as "an atmospheric subgenre of alternative rock that relies on sonic textures as much as melody"8 Common characteristics are breathy vocals and use of guitar effects, often producing a "wall of noise"83 Dream pop tends to focus on textures and moods rather than propulsive rock riffs9 Lyrics are often introspective or existential in nature9 In the view of music critic Simon Reynolds, dream pop "celebrates rapturous and transcendent experiences, often using druggy and mystical imagery"3 According to Rachel Felder, dream pop artists often resist representations of social reality in favor of ambiguous or hallucinogenic experiences10


See also: Shoegazing

The term "dream pop", which is thought to relate to the "immersion" in the music experienced by the listener,11 was coined in the late 1980s by Alex Ayuli to describe the music of his band AR Kane12 It was later adopted by Simon Reynolds to describe the nascent shoegazing scene in the UK3 In the 1990s, "dream pop" and 'shoegazing" were interchangeable and regionally dependent terms, with "dream pop" being the name by which "shoegazing" was known in America13

Reynolds described dream pop bands as "a wave of hazy neo-psychedelic groups", noting the influence of the "ethereal soundscapes" of bands such as Cocteau Twins3 Rolling Stone also described dream pop as originating with the early 1980s work of Cocteau Twins and their contemporaries14 PopMatters noted an evolutionary line from gothic rock to dream pop2 Rolling Stone considered Julee Cruise's 1989 album Floating into the Night, written and produced with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti, as a significant development of the dream pop sound which "gave the genre its synthy sheen"14 Ambient pop music was described by AllMusic as "essentially an extension of the dream pop that emerged in the wake of the shoegazer movement", distinct for its incorporation of electronic textures6

According to N Wiseman-Trowse, the music of The Velvet Underground, which experimented with repetition, tone, and texture over conventional song structure, was an important touchstone in the development of dream pop10 George Harrison's 1970 album All Things Must Pass, with its Wall of Sound and fluid arrangements, led music journalist John Bergstrom to credit it as an influence on dream pop15

List of artistsedit

Main article: List of dream pop artists


  1. ^ a b c Anon nd "Dream Pop" AllMusic 
  2. ^ a b ""Bela Lugosi's Dead": 30 Years of Goth, Gloom, and Post-Post-Punk" PopMatters Retrieved 2017-01-11 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Reynolds, Simon 1 December 1991, "Pop View; 'Dream-Pop' Bands Define the Times in Britain", The New York Times, The New York Times Company, retrieved 7 March 2010 
  4. ^ Nathaniel Wice / Steven Daly: "The dream pop bands were lionized by the capricious British music press, which later took to dismissing them as "shoegazers" for their affectless stage presence", Alt Culture: An A-To-Z Guide to the '90s-Underground, Online, and Over-The-Counter, p73, HarperCollins Publishers 1995, ISBN 0-0627-3383-4
  5. ^ Weiss, Dan July 6, 2012 "Slutwave, Tumblr Rap, Rape Gaze: Obscure Musical Genres Explained" LA Weekly 
  6. ^ a b "Ambient Pop" AllMusic 
  7. ^ Abebe, Nitsuh July 22, 2011 "Chillin' in Plain Sight" Pitchfork 
  8. ^ a b c Bogdanov, Vladimir 2001 The AllMusic Guide to Electronica, Backbeat UK, ISBN 978-0-87930-628-1, p ix
  9. ^ a b Bogdanov, Vladimir 2001 All Music Guide to Electronica: The Definitive Guide to Electronic Music 4th ed Backbeat Books pp ix ISBN 978-0-87930-628-1 
  10. ^ a b Wiseman-Trowse, N Sep 30, 2008 Performing Class in British Popular Music Springer pp 148–154 
  11. ^ Goddard, Michael et al 2013 Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1-4411-5937-3
  12. ^ 4AD: "The studio-based outfit comprised East London duo Alex Ayuli and Rudi Tambala, who described their music as "dreampop"" AR Kane short info
  13. ^ Tyler, Kieron 17 January 2016 "Reissue CDs Weekly: Still in a Dream - A Story of Shoegaze" The Arts Desk 
  14. ^ a b Grow, Kory July 25, 2014 "Dream Team: The Semi-Mysterious Story Behind the Music of 'Twin Peaks'" Rolling Stone Wenner Media Retrieved August 6, 2016 
  15. ^ John Bergstrom, "George Harrison: All Things Must Pass", PopMatters, 14 January 2011, Retrieved 1 April 2012

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Dream pop

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