Quick Hitters: Dreampop Divas

To those not familiar with the sub-genre dreampop, it would probably be best described best as rock music that utilizes more electronic features and ambiance rather than guitar riffs. However, it still contains enough rock and shoegaze influences while lacking predictable, uninspiring lyrics in order for it not to be considered mainstream pop. Those expecting something more along the lines of Lady Gaga will be disappointed to say the least. This article will showcase all groups that feature mainly female vocalists. In my opinion, it’s harder for a group to really get the dreampop feel with a male vocalist. A woman’s voice usually better complements the other layers and textures that create the drempop soundscape. On the flip side of that coin, a male singer is sometimes a better fit for artists looking to achieve a more chillwave sound. A classic example of chillwave is provided here, to those who are not aware of this sub-genre

 

1.. Au Revoir Simone-Sombody Who

Though I know little about this group, I am inspired to learn more on them purely based off being hooked in by this one song. They’re a trio of ladies from Brooklyn and have released three albums with another just around the corner. Their vocals blended in with their various electronic effects allows for quite a vintage dreampop vibe. They keep mixing up the effects throughout the entire song which keeps the listener guessing.

 

When will the madness end? At least the message she's trying to send with that outfit is crystal clear.

When will the madness end?There can be only two possible messages she’s sending with that outfit…I want attention or I’m just that bat-shit crazy

 

2. IO Echo-Ministry of Love

Definitely darker than your typical pop song, IO Echo comes in with this catchy yet slightly haunting track. It appears to be about a person that is physically confined from having contact with a loved one. But through sheer determination or being able to alter consciousness from a regular state, she is able to be with her loved one in a sacred place. I enjoy the pop elements combined with some heavier guitar during the chorus. The elegant vocals by¬†Ioanna Gika are very fitting and the song probably wouldn’t work with a more cheery sounding vocalist. Although it’s not your prototypical dream-pop hit, it’s a great listen and they’re a band that is too underexposed. “When the Lillies Die” is another awesome track from them available here.

 

3. Chairlift-Amanaemonesia

An under-appreciated song from Chairlift’s most recent album Something is “Amanaemonesia.¬† It is a highly regarded album and rightfully so. You may remember them as the band who released the somewhat widely accepted hit “Bruises”; it was on some lame commercial for an Apple iPod, a Kia Sportage or possibly something else. If that’s all you’ve heard from Chairlift, I strongly encourage you to check out some of there other work, they’re an intriguing group. I’ve posted the complex but smooth, vibey “Amanaemonesia”. It’s not as uplifting as some of their other songs; more gloomy and surreal in nature. It features some unique but fun lyrics that you can follow along with a la Disney sing-a-long style during the video. The music video matches the song perfectly. Enjoy this quirky spectacle.

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Soundtracks: Music from the movie Drive

Greetings again!

Waiting anxiously…for another synthy 80’s beat to propel my getaway from a bank robbery…or a shoot-out…or this drive-thru after I get my McRib

Allow me to be blunt…if you haven’t seen the movie Drive yet, do yourself a favor and fucking go see it. The cinematography and acting is superb. There’s lots of good action including several exciting car chases, naturally. The movie is rather violent and does contain a surprisingly high level of gore; something to keep in mind if you strongly dislike that kind of thing. I’ve always been neutral toward Ryan Gosling, Seems that a lot of the ladies are all about the Gosling these days. Typically that goes along with being in movies I have no desire to see. Drive was a clear exception, though. The film’s plot, visuals, and music that I noticed early on intrigued me. I watched it and was blown away by the score and how well it complemented the movie. Listed below are some of the best featured songs out of a solid musical score. It is mostly synthesizer based 80’s sounding new wave stuff, which I am very partial to. Add in today’s technology and the quality of sound you get from DVD/Blu-Ray, the music sounds amazing…check it out below.

Chromatics-Tick of the Clock

There’s no adjective to best describe this song other than “cool”. It contains no lyrics, nor does it need any to serve its purpose. This song is playing during the thrilling get-away sequence during the first few minutes of the film. Gosling serves as the wheel-man for two crooks that he has no other affiliation with. This is part of why the movie is so interesting. He simply drives people from one place to another in a 5 minute time frame and then his job is done. There are no further ties. This song by Chromatics captures the intensity of the moment perfectly. I have posted the condensed version but the original version that has a 15-minute running time is also easy to find.

College & Electric Youth-Real Hero

A song that plays during the scenes that attempt to spark a love interest in Gosling’s female counterpart, Carey Mulligan, is “Real Hero”. I’m not familiar with this group but after hearing this song, I will be sure to check out more of their stuff. The funky keyboard intro provides a nice touch and as soon as the lead vocalist chimes in, it’s on! Definitely one of the more talented vocalists out there period, much less for an electronic group. It serves as the swan song for Gosling at the end after he has been forced to commit many violent acts to save his friends (such as this one, WARNING: very graphic @ 2:20). This video provides a fine look into the movie as well if you haven’t already seen it.

There’s a quick glimpse into what great musical offerings this movie provides. Cliff Martinez is the writer for most of the movie’s score. If you liked the songs posted here, it would be well worth your time to check out some of his work. Everything he wrote for the movie along with all other tracks is available here. You should also go ahead and see the movie. Amidst all the garbage that Hollywood produces in this day and age, this serves as a reminder that they still can come out with a kick-ass movie from time to time.

What lies next for these two lovebirds? How about a sequel? Drive-IN…a look at the decline of the drive-in movie screen industry that began in the late 60’s…I’m thinking Gosling and Mulligan would both take a pass