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dreampop

Pia Fraus – ‘Field Ceremony’

After nearly a decade between albums, Pia Fraus dropped ‘Field Ceremony’ this October through Seksound (Europe) / Vinyl-Junkie (Japan) / Shelflife (U.S.A). Its awesomeness is no surprise. The Estonians spent the past few years sharing singles from the album, including: ‘Autumn Winds’; ‘Cloudy Eyes/Outer Otherness’; and ‘That’s Not All’. In 2016 the Tallinn vets also delivered an extensive repressing of their back catalogue on vinyl. In other words, Pia Fraus have kept busy!

Much of the original 1998 art school line-up remain on ‘Field Ceremony’. Former members help out the core group, which consists of Eve Komp (on vocals and keys), Rein Fuks (on guitars, vocals, percussion), Kärt Ojavee (on synths), Margus Voolpriit (on drums) and Reijo Tagapere on bass. Pia Fraus’ main game is melodically-driven dream pop. However, their sound blends shoegaze textures, slowcore tempos and indie pop appeal. Two crowd-pleasing shoegazers bookend the album; ‘It’s Over Now’ and ‘That’s Not All’. Gotta admit, I’m a sucker for these two. I love both of them.

At its heart, ‘Field Ceremony’ offers fantastic melodies. The vocals of Rein and Eve are interchangeable. You’d be forgiven not to notice that its not just one voice. I’m a big fan of guy/girl vocals and they do it so well. It keeps the record sounding diverse, with each song changing the balance. ‘Brutal Truth Of The World’ is one example. Here Pia Fraus use typically loud and swoony sounds and make them sound quiet, delicate. It’s the complete opposite of what you’d expect. Instead of confronting the listener with a wall of noise they use the noise to lull you in. That’s the genius of it. Great album, one of 2017’s best.

Pia Fraus – ‘Field Ceremony’ [Stream]

Visit Pia Fraus @ Seksound @ Shelflife @ Facebook.

You’ll Never Get To Heaven – ‘Images’

Canada’s You’ll Never Get To Heaven served up their third album ‘Images‘ on Yellow K earlier this year. It turned out to be one of the most compelling ambient/dream pop releases of 2017. The duo is Alice Hansen (singer and classically trained pianist/violinist), together with Chuck Blazevic (producer and monome master). Together they crafted 2012’s self-titled debut and the follow-up ‘Adorn’ in 2014. Their latest is a little less abstract, with ghostly compositions showered in reverb and hypnotic vocals. ‘Images’ has several interludes and surprises wedged between more pop-centric creations (such as the title track and ‘Beyond The Clouds’). The latter is a simple but brilliant tune, that sounds a little like something The Cure might’ve done in their early days. ‘Images’ is unrepentantly chill, which may turn off some listeners. However, ambient fans can go in knowing what to expect, because if you’re in the right mood then ‘Images’ is a meditative marvel. Stream in full below…

You’ll Never Get To Heaven – ‘Images’ [Stream]

Visit You’ll Never Get To Heaven @ Yellow K Records @ Facebook.

Hideous Towns – ‘Disquiet Living’ [Album Premiere]

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We’re celebrating the impending release of Hideous Towns‘ debut album ‘Disquiet Living’ with an exclusive stream (as below)! The Melbourne dream pop champions impressed with their 2014 self-titled EP and the lead singles ‘Don’t Forget’, ‘Wake Us’ and ‘Value’. The album delivers that intangible Aussie punk attitude; its raw, take it or leave it mentality makes ‘Disquiet Living’ sound honest and immediate. There’s a blend of new wave tracks (‘Waratah’, ‘Coincidents’), post-punk/kraut rock moments (‘Glass Curtain’, ‘Don’t Forget’) and spacious jangly pop gems (‘Fantasy’, ‘Lion’).

The album was produced by Matthew Hosking, known for his work as one half of VHS Dream. Hosking has had a hand in producing several likeminded local acts including Contrast, Bloodhounds On My Trail, Lowtide, Miniatures, and Glaciers. ‘Disquiet Living’ is an album with depth and character, recommended listening. Pick it up this Friday (November 25) from Lost And Lonesome (home to Parading, Lucy Roleff, and Lowtide). Melburnians can catch the album launch at Bella Union with Contrast, Mares, Splendid, and the Icypoles on December 2 (details). 
 
Hideous Towns – ‘Disquiet Living’ [Album Premiere]

Visit Hideous Towns @ Lost And Lonesome @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.

Wy – ‘Never Was’

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‘Hate To Fall Asleep’ left me open mouthed on first listen; it’s a stunning dream pop tune in the vein of Cocteau Twins. It leads Wy‘s new EP ‘Never Was’ which you can stream in full below (courtesy of Hybris). The young duo (Ebba and Michel) are based in Malmö (Sweden). Their debut release is an eclectic mix of moody anthems that whets the appetite for a full length. ‘The God Concept’ and the opener are the most dream pop-centric of the EP, here’s hoping they follow this direction. Lovely work.

 
Wy – ‘Never Was’ [EP Stream]

Visit Wy @ Hybris @ Instagram.

Floating Room – ‘Sunless’ LP

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Floating Room came together largely by happenstance; Maya Stoner (Sabonis/Forest Park) and Kyle Bates (Drowse) discussed collaborating at a house party before being joined by bassist Alec Van Staveren. Together the Pacific Northwest trio have created one of the most raw, real and exciting dream pop records of the year. The ‘Sunless’ LP was released this week on Good Cheer Records, and it’s already been praised by Stereogum, She Shreds, and CLRVYNT. The emotion-charged lead songs ‘Fun’ and ‘Sad God’ are so good. However, there are several short, experimental interludes on the album which are both a strength and weakness. It’s great to have these odd, dreamy moments but they also make the record play out like a collection of demos that aren’t fully fleshed out (which may/or may not be the case). Regardless, I’m really impressed by ‘Sunless’ and I hope this collaboration continues to grow. Definitely worth your minutes…

Floating Room – ‘Sunless’ LP

Visit Floating Room @ Bandcamp.

Pia Fraus – ‘Autumn Winds’

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After eight years Pia Fraus have broken their silence with the new single ‘Autumn Winds‘. It’s a brilliant surprise from the Tallinn-based dream pop vets. Only a few months back the quintet unveiled their catalogue on vinyl (many for the first time) and now this! Best of all, ‘Autumn Winds’ confirms a fresh album is on the way (expected 2017 via Seksound). In the meantime, jump into ‘Autumn Winds’; which combines off-kilter psych sounds, otherworldly vocal harmonies and a super pretty chorus. The combination of Rein and Eve’s voice is just magic.

 
Pia Fraus – ‘Autumn Winds’

Visit Pia Fraus @ Bandcamp @ Facebook.