Archive for the dreampop Category

An April March- Memory Gardens & Scarlett Bliss K7s

Posted in 1990, 1990s, 1991, an april march, canadian, dreampop, shoegaze on April 4, 2017 by Frankie Teardrop

I remember the first time hearing Canadian dreampop band An April March. I was deep in my shoegaze phase in my freshman year of college, overdosing on Slowdive for the most part, posting on forums everywhere. I caught wind of this band and remember seeking out a lone mp3 of “Lava,” one of the bands early singles, on Audiogalaxy of all places… It was love at first listen. Just a few weeks later, I was digging in my college town’s record bins casually when I came across a gorgeous looking gothic cover. Sure enough, it was the Lava single, a red colored slab of perfection sitting there for a dollar, discarded among a bunch of sleeveless pop singles. I believe I posted the single in the very first year of this blog, as the obsession still ran deep.

Since then I’ve obtained all of their discography in various forms, with the exception of the elusive Scarlett Bliss demo tape from 1991, which I’ve always had my eye on. However, a kind collector by the name of Paul Evans offered to rip it for me, and included a bonus- a never before logged demo tape from 1990 called Memory Gardens, the band’s first official release. Funny enough, this is the real treat here, as the Scarlett Bliss tape features very similar (if not the same) recordings of these three tracks that would appear on 1993’s Impatiens, the band’s debut album.

However, the songs on Memory Gardens showcase a band just getting their feet wet, though the band’s trademark dark dreampop sound is still in full effect. Mostly I’m pleasantly surprised by the ample use of saxophone on this tape, a sound they abandoned after release, apparently. Saxophone player Ian would go on to play with The Dervishes, who I haven’t heard but sound like a more soul/funk band according to their discogs page.

Anywho, four of the six tracks on this cassette are exclusives, while “Gates Within Us” and “Of Leaves And Sweetness” are early versions that have since changed drastically in subsequent recordings.

Thanks again to Paul for ripping these! Hope you all enjoy them as much as I do:

An April March- Memory Gardens K7 (1990)
1. Justine
2. Misunderstanding
3. Of Leaves and Sweetness
4. Memory Gardens
5. Gates Within Us
6. Hollow House

An April March- Scarlett Bliss K7 (1991)
1. Scarlett Bliss
2. This Silence
3. Stains

*download both here*

Breathless- Waterland 7”

Posted in 1980s, 1984, breathless, dreampop, post-punk, uk on October 9, 2015 by Frankie Teardrop

We’ve discussed UK post-punk band Breathless here before in the past, and I can’t overstate their importance enough. They are, by and far, one of my all-time favorite bands- such beauty, brilliant songs, and one of the best male vocalists of all time. Also, unlike most of our artists here, they are still active, releasing the incredible Green to Blue LP in 2012.

Most of their catalog has since been reissued digitally for download/streaming. That said, a few of their earliest singles have yet to be compiled, perhaps a tape sourcing issue or oversight. Most absent from their digital catalog (outside of the cathartic “Bad Blood”) is their debut 7”, Waterland from 1984. With that in mind, I’ve finally picked up a copy and made a passable rip for you all to enjoy. A few words of warning- the pressing on this 7” was a bit dodgy, but a little cleanup went a long way with this one. More importantly, while the ingredients that make them such a compelling band are still on display here, these two tracks are more primitive- darker, heavier, much more intense than some of the material that would follow. There is heavy dub-inspired bass and buzzy synths on the excellent “Second Heaven”- the real standout for me on this single, though the powerful ending of “Waterland” is nothing to shake a stick at either. Either way, perfect sounds to kick off your Autumn. Enjoy!

R-958070-1177494801.jpeg

Breathless- Waterland 7”
1. Waterland
2. Second Heaven

*download it here*

PS- be sure to check out the lyrics for these tracks on the Tenor Vossa website!

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7

Posted in 1990s, 1995, bethany curve, california, dreampop, shoegaze, US on April 6, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

While I haven’t posted much shoegaze here, I’ve been a fan of the genre as long as I can remember… Aside from the classics, I’ve also grown to love more modern bands such as Ashrae Fax, Stella Luna, Tamaryn, The Autumns, the Claire Records bands, and of course, Bethany Curve.  With that in mind, I’ve been looking for a copy of this cassette for ages, pretty much a holy grail for me for many years, so it’s proof that good things come to those who wait.  This came to me as an anonymous donation at first but many thanks to the original collector who spent a lot of effort and time to track this down. 

Bethany Curve formed in Santa Cruz, CA in 1994, taking their name from a local street sign.  The band released four albums and one EP, going on hiatus in 2004 after the release of Flaxen.  Though they haven’t released anything since, the band played some shows in 2010, and their site hints at a new record, Murder, whose release date is still TBA.  There’s also talk of this tape being reissued with remastered sound, so this download will be obviously be removed once it’s available for sale.

As for the band’s sound, Bethany Curve often explored darker territories than most of their peers, citing Dead Can Dance and Depeche Mode as influences alongside Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and the like .  The influence is most apparent on this tape, released in 1995 as a demo.  There are a few experimental synth moments here as well, serving as interludes between the remaining tracks.  Either way, if you’ve been looking for this tape as long as I have, you’ve already skipped this text and have gone straight to the download, so let’s cut straight to the chase:

Bethany+Curve+MeeAux

Bethany Curve- Mee-Eaux K7
1. Sequence
2. Satellite
3. Mar
4. Walk In
5. 2 Minutes of Hate
6. Jalap
7. Sunned
8. Reversion
9. Out of the Clear
10. Me Voy

*download it here*

The Wild Flowers- The Joy of It All LP & Blue Hollow- Stealing a Whisper LP

Posted in 1980s, 1984, 1986, blue hollow, coldwave, dreampop, new wave, post-punk, the wild flowers, uk, US on January 28, 2013 by Frankie Teardrop

Hope you’ll all indulge me for a little two-for-one post here.  While these two records are generally unrelated, they sound incredibly complementary and it’s no stretch that if you love one, you’ll probably love the other.  Also, both LPs have been posted by other blogs in the past.  I only double dip today to offer fresh rips and hopefully to turn you guys on to two excellent, if but vastly under-appreciated post-punk masterpieces from the mid-80s.

First up is the debut LP from The Wild Flowers, which you may have heard via Curious Guy’s excellent post from 2006.  There, he mentions that the band was the original outlet of guitarist David Newton, who left soon after to form the also excellent Mighty Lemon Drops.   I’m on my second copy of this LP, between DJing and home listening, so that should speak highly of this particular record, which calls the lush majesty of bands like The Chameleons, Icicle Works, The Lucy Show, Breathless, The Sound, and of course, Echo & the Bunnymen’s Heaven Up Here to mind.  You can grab their first two 7”s here.  I do have the third LP, 1988’s Sometime Soon.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard it so I don’t remember how it stacks up, but I’m very interested in hearing 1987’s Dust.

The second LP is the one and only release by Blue Hollow, who rose from the ashes of Gluons, a darker and more dissonant band from Massachusetts.  Stealing a Whisper, which was released three years later, would shed much of the cacophony and offer up a record that sits comfortably alongside The Wild Flowers on sheer strength of songwriting.  Equally lush and romantic songs and catchy hooks, clearly pulling from the same set of influences and delivering a similarly striking album…

It’s a shame that neither of these records are more well known, even in these circles, so hopefully this post brings them to a wider audience.  Enjoy!

wflowers

The Wild Flowers- The Joy of it All (1984)
1. Melt Like Ice
2. Beggar Man
3. The Promised Land
4. After All These Years
5. Dark Times
6. The Joy of it All
7. Bamboo
8. Hold the Torch
9. Things Have Changed
10. From the Sky

*download it here*


bhollow

Blue Hollow- Stealing a Whisper (1986)
1. Color of Night
2. Inhale
3. Running Down
4. Blue Hollow
5. We Fall
6. Hearts Hang Souls
7. Wildskin
8. Stranger

*download it here*

Thanks for indulging me here today… For those who are looking for something new and unheard, hang tight- as the next few posts will feature very rare cassettes, demos, and more!  Thanks to all who have sent things over in the past few weeks- it’s always appreciated!

The Pollen- Factory Hours 12” & Contrasts CD

Posted in 1980s, 1989, adrian borland, coldwave, dreampop, french, indie, post-punk, the pollen, the sound on December 12, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

For those who enjoyed the Pollen LP posted a few entries back, here’s a post that is both supplemental and one which renders the previous post obsolete. Contained within we have the band’s 12” release, Factory Hours, as well as the CD issue of Contrasts, complete with several bonus tracks plucked from the band’s 12” releases from the era. So if you dug the mini-LP, be sure to download this one as well, for additional songs and higher fidelity! “Factory Walk” is also a killer track, complete with that Touching Pop sound we all know and love, with poppier and more celtic inspired b-sides. Your mileage may vary on those.

That said, still a plethora of enjoyable tracks to be found here, so have at it!

The Pollen- Factory Hours 12”
1. Factory Hours
2. (In Your) Head
3. Bushes and Briars

The Pollen- Contrasts CD
1. Nurturing Desire
2. Passionate Reading
3. Military Tactics
4. Dream
5. Like the Wind
6. Killer
7. Heathen World
8. Peel the Skin
9. Faraway
10. Hard Times
11. Breaking Out

*download both here*

The Pollen- Contrasts Mini-LP

Posted in 1980s, 1989, adrian borland, coldwave, dreampop, french, indie, post-punk, the pollen, the sound on October 14, 2011 by Frankie Teardrop

A recent, but welcome discovery, I’ve had this record in my possession for a few weeks now, and I’m just now finally able to offer it up here for you all to enjoy. Here we have a mini-LP from French band The Pollen, produced by The Sound’s Adrian Borland. Naturally, you can expect some great post-punk sounds here, more of the dreamy variety. The album strikes me as a cross between Lush & Lively Art acts, with a little bit of that Borland magic thrown in for good measure.

Released in 1989, this record is a vast improvement over their unfocused full length, released the same year (I’m guessing, as there’s no date on this LP and sources on the Adrian Borland tribute page also peg 1989 for this one as well). The full length seems a little more indie-flavored, as opposed to the cold sounds on this release, but perhaps I’ll reassess it down the line. I also have a 12” from the same era that fits more with this album, and will post that as soon as I have the chance!

The Pollen- Contrasts Mini-LP
1. Killer
2. Military Tactics
3. Faraway
4. Like The Wind
5. Peel The Skin
6. Breaking Out
7. Hard Times

Check here for the CD rip for this & a bonus 12”.

The Snake Corps- Smother Earth LP

Posted in 1980s, 1990, british, coldwave, dreampop, post-punk, sad lovers and giants, shoegaze, snake corps on January 9, 2009 by Frankie Teardrop

Tossing another quick request out there for your weekend enjoyment. I covered UK post-punk act the Snake Corps back in August of 2007, so take a peek at this post for all proper information on the band and their biography. Otherwise, enjoy this record, the band’s second, released in 1990.

The Snake Corps- Smother Earth LP
1. Seagull’s Eye
2. Calling You
3. Careful…
4. Everything Turns Blue
5. I’m Not Afraid
6. Colder Than The Kiss
7. Testament
8. More Than The Ocean
9. Come The Glorious Day
10. The Sky In Your Eyes
11. Possession
12. “This Is Seagull…”
13. Seagull’s Eye (Ext.)

*download link removed*

Now available on iTunes!

Ceremony- Our Last Goodbye EP

Posted in 2000s, 2005, ceremony, dreampop, shoegaze, underground, virginia on November 26, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Very seldom can a stellar band split up and form two equal (if not better) bands in the wake of their demise. This is fortunately the case with Skywave, a since defunct noise-pop band from Virginia which yielded both previously covered A Place to Bury Strangers and today’s band, Ceremony.

Whereas APTBS was formed in NYC by guitarist Oliver Ackermann, ex-Skywave members Paul Baker and John Fedowitz continued on as Ceremony in their hometown of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Though Ceremony also continues down a similarly apocalyptic path with their blend of harsh noise rock, they’ve taken added a more notable synthetic element to their songs, which splinter with distortion, hard-hitting drum machines, and whirring electronic melodies.

I’ve uploaded a single track from their newest offering, 2007’s full length recording, Disappear. As a bonus, I’ve also zipped up an earlier EP for your listening pleasure.

download Ceremony- ‘I Heard You Call My Name’

Ceremony- Our Last Goodbye EP
1. Our Last Goodbye
2. Someday
3. Marianne
4. Do You Love Me?

*download it here*

Lo and behold! For the first time in what feels like ages, I can effectively post purchasing links and live videos as additional treats, since Ceremony is a currently active band with easily available material. On that note, here’s an appropriately glitchy video for the song ‘You Never Stay,’ also featured on Disappear.

and last but not least, a few web resources for more information and purchasing:
Myspace page
Purchase Disappear from Safranin Sound

Bell Hollow

Posted in 2000s, bell hollow, dreampop, nyc, post-punk, shoegaze on November 7, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop


I’m pleased to post about today’s band, NYC local dreampop favorites Bell Hollow. Fresh off the release of their debut full-length, Foxgloves, the band shall be playing their cd release party in the heart of New York next Friday, November 16th, at Don Hills.

The band’s origins date back to 2003, where like minded bassist Christopher Bollman and guitarist Greg Fasolino (both veterans of NYC deathrock outfit Naked & the Dead) formed Bell Hollow to explore and rekindle a love of all things dream-pop and post-punk. The band’s lineup was fully realised with the inclusion of singer Nick Niles in 2005 and the addition of their second drummer, Todd Karasik, in 2006.

Bell Hollow’s sound calls to the glory days of shimmering shoegaze and guitar-pop, swirling guitars, locked-in rhythms, and ethereal vocals, and the band’s influences (Kitchens of Distinction, The Sound, Sad Lovers and Giants) are built upon with solid songwriting, clever arrangements, and admirable musicianship. The band has two releases under their belt, 2006’s Sons of the Burgess Shale EP and 2007’s Foxgloves, both released under indie label five03 (also home of the likeminded and equally captivating Prids). Both releases were recorded and produced by local NYC engineer Hillary Johnson, who also fills out the quartet’s live sound with synthesizers. Acoustic guitar contributions on Foxgloves are also made by Josh Strawn, lead vocalist of fellow NYC outfit Blacklist.

For today’s downloads, I’ve uploaded one track each from Bell Hollow’s releases…the first, a favorite of mine from their debut EP and the second, the lead-off track from Foxgloves.

download Bell Hollow- ‘Secret Key’
download Bell Hollow- ‘Seven Sisters’

If you like what you hear, be sure to support these local darlings and pick up copies of their records, which are available through the iTunes music store, as well as straight from five03. Again, Bell Hollow will grace the stage on Friday, Nov. 16th at Don Hills here in New York City, so be sure to drop by if you’re in the neighborhood! For more on the band, including purchase links, I entreat you to visit the following web-hubs:

Bell Hollow on myspace
purchase Bell Hollow records via five03

An April March- Lava 7”

Posted in 1990s, an april march, canadian, dreampop, shoegaze on October 12, 2007 by Frankie Teardrop

Finally! Fall weather! The most recent bout of New York rain has dropped temperatures considerably, and with the onset of autumn, I tend to dust off most of my shoegaze collection and listen to it obsessively. Don’t worry folks, I won’t be clogging up these pages with dreampop (unless you ask, of course), but to kick off the first proper week of autumn, I’ll toss one out.

Today’s band is An April March (not to be confused with ye-ye revivalist April March), a four piece unit hailing from Toronto, Canada. Formed in 1989, the band lasted a decade before splitting up, leaving behind a trail of 7” singles and 4 full length records. The band combined the dark-bass driven fury of post-punk with a budding shoegaze sound- swirls of guitar feedback and heavily chorused female vocals.

The band split in 1999 after a handful of parting gigs, and vocalist/guitarist Danella Hocevar and guitarist Christopher Perry soon formed the band rethotred.

Today’s tracks compromise their 1994 7” single for ‘Lava.’ The A-side also appears on their 1995 EP Instruments of Lust and Fury while the B-side was already released on their 1993 record Impatiens.

an april march

An April March- Lava 7”
1. Lava
2. Gates Within Us

*download it here*

There’s a video for “Lava” as well!

A  few of their cds, cassettes, and vinyl can still be found through various online outfits, they manage to fetch a hefty sum from those who are aware of their scarcity! Fortunately, yours truly managed to score the 7” single posted above for a mere buck back in my college days, so have hope if you’re a collector!