DJ B’s Top Dream Pop Albums of 2018


DJ B in the KWVA studio.

This week’s blog post comes from our very own DJ B, AKA Brooke. Brooke is studying Advertising with a focus in art direction and design. Her show, “Into the Void,” is one of KWVA’s featured programs this winter. “Into the Void” broadcasts shoegaze, dream pop, psychedelic and other vacuum related noises. Tune in on Thursdays from 10 p.m. to midnight!

Here are her six favorite dream pop records from 2018…

(Note: some images may appear blurry on some devices. We are working to fix that glitch ASAP!)

1. Weyes Blood: Front Row Seat to Earth

This record didn’t come out this year, nor does is it really fall in the dream-pop realm of things, but I’m going for it. While listening to this record, Weyes Blood killed me and then proceeded to resurrect my soul. Her delicate ‘60s sounds also deliver a punch in the gut only to make you cry not from pain, but from how beautiful her masterpiece of a record is. Dramatics aside, this record has slight psychedelic influences and powerful vocals lead by philosophical lyrics. Although it has a very nostalgic sound, the artist projects a fresh sound that will make this record a classic. Long story short, I would die for Weyes Blood.

Top Tracks: Dairy, Generation Why, Can’t Go Home, Seven Words

2. Sam Evian: You, Forever

I’m calling it now, we’re going to hear a lot more Sam Evian in the coming year. This record is SO FRESH, especially in this post–Demarco era we seem to have found ourselves sitting in (I’ve admittedly been to a concert, but it’s an unspoken rule to not play DeMarco, right?). Before listening to Evian I was in somewhat of a rut, kind of bored of everything I was listening to. His fresh, charming delivery with this album was much welcomed by me. Influences I hear when listening is the “etherealness” of Chris Cohen with a pitch twang adopted from Whitney.

Top Tracks: Health Machine, Anybody, Next to You, You Forever

3. Sasami: Not the Time

Sasami has been known among the L.A. music scene for a while now, gaining support from the likes of Cherry Glazerr, Mitski, Soccer Mommy and Snail Mail. The first ten seconds of this single instantly make me think she may be the lovechild of Broadcast and My Bloody Valentine with heavy synths and glittery guitar riffs. She has already supported Eugene’s hometown hero, Japanese Breakfast. Based on this single, I’m expecting the upcoming album will more than please.

4. Caroline Says: No Fool Like an Old Fool

This band is named after a Lou Reed song, so what is there not to like? Caroline Says’ album satisfies both parts of my music brain, the part that loves the shimmering, iridescence of dream-pop and the other that loves depressing lyrics. Seriously, I seem to have some sort of a death wish with sad music, but for some reason I find it soothing in a way nothing else is. The lyrics in this album air on the side of introspective which was a big theme for me in 2018, but also contributes to the timelessness of this record.

Top Tracks: Sweet Home Alabama, A Good Thief Steals Clean, Cool Jerk, I Tried

5. Drinks: Hippo Lite

Tim Presley of White Fence and Cate Le Bon, who is producing the new Deerhunter record slated to come out in early 2019, released this second album under the Moniker Drinks. By fusing elements from both artists’ respective backgrounds, the duo created an album that in all honesty makes me feel kind of weird. But like weird in a good way, not a creeped out by the guy breathing heavily next to me in lecture kind of way. Experimental in nature, the album utilizes wacky loops, baby cries, typewriter punches and squeaking doors. Some tracks have lovely lyrical additions while some are completely instrumental. If you like Ariel Pink, John Maus and that general crew of weirdos, this will be a real treat for you. I recommend listening to this album at night.

Top Tracks: Blue From the Dark, In the Night Kitchen, Greasing Up, You Could Be Bette

6. Parquet Courts: Wide Awake!

When this album first came out, I was really set on not liking it. For some reason, I thought the sound was too punk for my usual tastes. But my final verdict is actually quite positive. I think part of my acceptance towards this album happened when I listened to more “Ty Segall and friends,” or so I’m calling them, because it seems like that list of musically gifted friends never ends. First off, this album manages to use humor in a way I don’t think I’ve heard before. Lyrics like “Spend all your money at the casket store” is an example of what I’m talking about here. Musically though, the album splits between a Television, Velvet Underground vibe in addition to glittery sounds similar to Thee Oh Sees.

Top Tracks: Violence, Mardi Gras Beads, Freebird II, Back to Earth, Wide Awake

Thanks, Brooke!

Want to contribute to the KWVA music blog? Email Sophie.

Concert Review: Calvin Johnson, Maria de Hart, and Mouth Mouth at the Wandering Goat

“A Historic Moment of Intense Grooviness:” Calvin Johnson, Maria de Hart, and Mouth Mouth at Wandering Goat

Concert Review by Anna Brown (DJ Alright)

The ethereal Mouth Mouth.

 

On Saturday, Nov. 17, The Wandering Goat coffee shop played host for two local, DIY driven Eugene events– the Euzine Fest, featuring zine media from across the country and Eugene, and the Euzine Fest After-party.

Maria de Hart is a duo consisting of Maria herself on guitar and vocals, and bassist Charlie, hailing from Corvallis and Albany, respectively. Maria’s lyrics are dreamy and soft, cushioned by guitar loops and quiet, interwoven bass lines. As Calvin Johnson explained later in the set, Maria’s name comes from the fact that “she sings her heart out… but it got shortened to ‘de Hart.’ People are lazy.”

 

“Can I sleep in your bed?/Can I wander through your head?” Maria de Hart at Wandering Goat. Note: images may be blurry on some devices. We’re working on getting that fixed ASAP!

 

Eugene local Mouth Mouth lit candles, placed gemstones among gear, and passed out black sleeping masks for a truly transcendental set. Mouth Mouth’s music is driven by pulsing drum loops and heavily affected vocals to create a comfortable, droning cocoon of sound. Texturally, the music ranges from poem recitation to AMSR-like sounds of crinkling paper to form a song’s rhythm (I’m assuming it was paper at least, I had a mask on for almost the entire set). It’s one of the few times I’ve seen (or rather, not seen) an artist eschew the visibility of performing a live set simply to play music, unseen, for nothing but the listening experience among a group.

 

 

Calvin Johnson was the last set of the night, and this show marked his second-to-last performance of a seven week long tour for his new album “A Wonderful Beast.” This album came out last month through his Olympia-based label, K Records. It’s nearly impossible not to dance at a Calvin Johnson show; his constant moving, dancing, or melodica playing for the entire duration of the set is infectious.

 

Calvin Johnson

 

Don’t fret if you missed any of these bands. Maria de Hart plays the HiFi Music Lounge in Eugene on Dec 7!

Check out the other bands here:

Mouth Mouth

Calvin Johnson

 

DJ Alright

 

Want to contribute to the KWVA music blog? Email Sophie.