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.
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.
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.