Tamaryn have released a new song. ‘I’m Gone’ is so gentle, calming and abstract that it enshrouds like a layer of clingfilm, swooning hither and thither across the metaphysical netherspace of imagination invoking the vivid hues of flowers in bloom (okay, that last image might be prompted by the accompanying video rather than the power of the music). It is also very 2012, for this year seems set to become the watermark for hyper ethereal dream pop; matching even the original exponents from the early Nineties for quality.
‘I’m Gone’ kicks off the Kiwi artists campaign for her second Long Play Tender New Signs, following on from the magisterially solid debut The Waves, which is to be looked forward to as well as the live shows that will undoubtedly follow. Those sets are truly enthralling: to encourage her audience’s captivation and fascination, and to ground the waves of thick reverb into a visual framework, she projects rich throbbing images onto the musicians to create an atmosphere that pulsates like few others (examples of which can be easily found Youtube).
London duo Echo Lake are perhaps the most acclaimed and successful artists of the genre so far this year, with their debut Wild Peace (released in June on No Pain No Pop) featuring highly in many ‘Albums Of The Year So Far’ type of lists. They ingeniously mix tender female vocals, dense soundscapes and unhurried guitar lines to craft mesmerisingly delicate melodies that intermittently fracture rendering the whole album stunningly unpredictable.
Fightbite’s (one half of whom, Leanne Macomber, has been touring recently with Mr. Neon Indian) eponymously titled second album generates lush hymns that eddy and churn as if spawned from the same Scottish heritage as seminal Eighties band – and dream pop instigators – Cocteau Twins, defying their Texan roots. Indeed, the album Fightbite appears to be in homage to Cocteau Twins’ 1984 album Treasure because all the song titles are people’s names.
Pitchfork favourites DIIV are another. Their debut Oshin specialises in a drowsy summery brand of dream pop, reminiscent of the enigmatic serenity of the ocean (as the album title would phonetically infer). Philadelphia’s Lockets have also issued the gossamer Camera Shy this week, then later in the year Wild Nothing and Letting Up Despite Great Faults do likewise, following in the footsteps of Beach House (Bloom¬), Whirr (Pipe Dreams) and Young Prisms (In Between) who have all already contributed to the 2012 dream pop roster this year. The blogosphere really is inundated with exponents of this once minority genre.
This recent explosion does perhaps swamp some of the really exceptional records, but it is the truly memorable examples of dream pop – like Tamaryn and Echo Lake – that successfully entice a listener seeking escape into that pleasant otherworldly slither of consciousness, finely poised between sleep and wakefulness, where time is distorted and dreams still feel authentic.
Tamaryn’s Tender New Signs comes out on October 16th on Mexican Summer. Below is that video for ‘I’m Gone’, as well as Echo Lake’s ‘Young Silence’ and the video for Lockets’ ‘Bitter Teeth’.
By Barney Horner
Dance Yrself Clean