As you may remember we are big fans of our Google Home (aka Homie). My (Jon) favorite feature on Homie is the ability to bring up music via Spotify at an instant. Sometimes I ask for something specific – “Hey Google, play neo-classical trash metal featuring a gruff vocalist and overdriven bass guitar”. Actually, I’ve NEVER asked that…. And sometimes I ask for something to fit a mood – “Ok Google, play Dream Pop”. I totally have asked that.
While these playlists that Spotify brings up may not all be winners once in awhile they can lead down the musical rabbit hole. The Dream Pop playlist is gone now (sad face) but I used to play it often and get some really great stuff such as Men I Trust (one of my current favorite bands), Mazzy Star, Turnover, and Amber Arcades.
A quick side note – I have a love/hate relationship with musical genres. I don’t like putting things in boxes and I think it’s really hard to define something as “pop” or “rock” as those titles are really vast. I also don’t like the idea of art being some one dimensional. However, I love the idea of mixing genres to create new sounds. I think it’s how things evolve and in order to have a sub-genre the main genre must exist. Dream Pop is in this realm. It fuses pop, some alternative and psych rock elements, and in it’s most current state I’d say it also draws from indie music.
Amber Arcades is a Dutch singer/song writer who I first heard on the Dream Pop playlist. I was drawn to the song Alpine Town and mostly to the killer bass work going on. But there is a ton more going on in the song that makes it worth a listen.
Let’s start at the top. Who doesn’t like a mid-tempo groove that makes you bop you head a bit? Once the chorus hits stuff gets interesting. The band drops out besides some swelling in and out and the energy of the song just feels like it’s going somewhere. The first place this energy goes to is this syncopated horn line with a guitar lead on top. It’s very cool!
Verse and chorus two follow the same formula as the start of the song. When the second chorus finishes the highlight (at least for me) of the song is this big energy outro. With high vocals, amazing bass work, the shaker just moving things along, and horns/strings smoothly in the background – it’s a great musical moment!
If you want to hear more you can check out all Amber Arcades music on her YouTube.