There's always been something just a little icy about dream pop, but when coupled with a pulsing bass, a sincere, delicate falsetto and a finely detailed mix, the chill really can carry you away. "Best Intentions" by Los Angeles band Satchmode (Gabe Donnay and Adam Boukis) does just that.
"Mila Don't Make a Sound," the first single off Eureka Birds' forthcoming album "Strangers," glides and shines with synth and guitar, but the emotional core is in singer Justin Levy's voice and a story of love fading away like the last strains of a good dream-pop song.
Beginning with clacking percussion and airy harmonies, ending with a sprawling, psychedelic dreamscape, "Langsom Dans" by Gliss frames an artful study in contrasts.
On my radio show Hindsight, I spin a wide range of indie pop and rock from all sides of the pond. This year offered a lot of great songs from which to choose.
"I don't know what I'm doing up here," giggled Tennis' Alaina Moore behind a shock of Pantene-commercial hair, after an effusive thank you to old friends and opening act Making Movies.
I'm going to be honest. When I first heard "Gila" on a mix CD a friend made for me a few years ago, I assumed the vocals I was hearing belonged to a male.
There's a paradox at the core of School of Seven Bells. How can the songs of Alejandra Deheza and Benjamin Curtis be so majestic, rhythmic and intimate at once?