Marc Philippe – You Work Wonders (Paul Lock Remix)
The term dream pop is thought to relate to the “immersion” in the music experienced by the listener. The AllMusic Guide to Electronica (2003) defined dream pop as “an atmospheric subgenre of alternative rock that relies on sonic textures as much as melody”. According to Paste, the genre emphasizes mood and sonics over lyrics, so that “chords and tracks blur seamlessly into one another so frequently that it can be difficult to even decipher when one song ended and another has begun.” Common characteristics are breathy vocals, the use of guitar effects, and a densely produced sound, with “nebulous, distorted guitars” paired with “murmured vocals sometimes completely smudged into a wall of noise.” The music tends to focus on textures rather than propulsive rock riffs. Effects such as reverb and echo are ubiquitous, with tremolo and chorus also heard on recordings.
Lyrics are often introspective or existential in nature, but may be difficult to hear or incomprehensible in the mix. In the view of critic Simon Reynolds, dream pop “celebrates rapturous and transcendent experiences, often using druggy and mystical imagery”. In 1991, he suggested this escapist tendency might be a response to the cultural landscape of the UK during the 1980s: “After 12 years of Conservative government in Britain, any idealism or constructive political involvement seems futile to these alienated middle-class dropouts.” Similarly, according to Rachel Felder, dream pop artists often resist representations of social reality in favour of ambiguous or hallucinogenic experiences.