|Cultural origins||Mid to late 1980s, United Kingdom|
|Typical instruments||Vocals, electric guitar|
Dream pop (or dreampop) is a subgenre of alternative rock and neo-psychedelia that developed in the 1980s. The style is typified by a preoccupation with atmosphere and texture as much as melody.
The term was coined in the late 1980s by Alex Ayuli to describe the music of his band A.R. Kane. It was later adopted by music critic Simon Reynolds to describe the nascent shoegazing scene in the UK. In the 1990s, dream pop and shoegazing were interchangeable and regionally dependent terms.[nb 1]
The AllMusic Guide to Electronica defines dream pop as "an atmospheric subgenre of alternative rock that relies on sonic textures as much as melody". Common characteristics are breathy vocals and use of guitar effects, often producing a "wall of noise". The term is often used, particularly in the United States, to describe bands who were part of the shoegazing scene, and shoegazing is sometimes seen as a part of dream pop.[improper synthesis?] The term is thought to relate to the "immersion" in the music experienced by the listener.
In the view of Reynolds, dream pop "celebrates rapturous and transcendent experiences, often using druggy and mystical imagery". Dream pop tends to focus on textures and moods rather than propulsive rock riffs. Vocals are generally breathy or sung in a near-whisper, and lyrics are often introspective or existential in nature. Reynolds, using the term synonymously with "shoe gazers", described dream pop bands as "a wave of hazy neo-psychedelic groups", noting the influence of the "ethereal soundscapes" bands such as Cocteau Twins. PopMatters also noted an evolutionary line from gothic rock to dream pop, while AllMusic stated that the ambient pop genre was "essentially an extension of the dream pop that emerged in the wake of the shoegazer movement". 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 pop.
List of artists
- Anon (n.d.). "Dream Pop". AllMusic.
- 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
- 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, p.73, HarperCollins Publishers 1995, ISBN 0-0627-3383-4
- "Ambient Pop". AllMusic.
- Abebe, Nitsuh (July 22, 2011). "Chillin' in Plain Sight". Pitchfork.
- 4AD: "The studio-based outfit comprised East London duo Alex Ayuli and Rudi Tambala, who described their music as "dreampop"." A.R. Kane short info
- Tyler, Kieron (17 January 2016). "Reissue CDs Weekly: Still in a Dream - A Story of Shoegaze". The Arts Desk.
- Bogdanov, Vladimir (2001). The AllMusic Guide to Electronica, Backbeat UK, ISBN 978-0-87930-628-1, p. ix.
- Goddard, Michael et al (2013) Resonances: Noise and Contemporary Music, Bloomsbury Academic, ISBN 978-1-4411-5937-3
- Mendoza, Manuel (1992) "Dream pop takes to the road: Swervedriver puts a modern twist on a classic rock image", The Dallas Morning News, 23 April 1992
- 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.
- John Bergstrom, "George Harrison: All Things Must Pass", PopMatters, 14 January 2011, (Retrieved 1 April 2012)
- "Dream pop" was the name by which "shoegazing" was known in America.