Column: Dreamy rock is a new brand

Ryan Meyer, Reporter

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There is a subgenre of indie rock music that deserves a lot of attention, but I have yet to come up with a name for it. My favorite streaming platform, Bandcamp, describes it as dream pop, shoegaze, jangle pop, etc. The best way I can describe it is that it sounds like Mac DeMarco meets the Cure. 

The best band to come out of this wave, DIIV, has released three critically acclaimed albums that are each so good I can’t decide which one I like the most. The band’s front man, Zachary Cole Smith, also played in another band that belongs in this conversation, Beach Fossils. Smith is part of a common trend in this genre of music that sees one person writing the songs themselves before presenting them to the band, rather than the common trend of “jamming” as a collective. 

This pattern can be traced back to the singular genius of Robert Smith of the Cure or Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine, another band that these youngsters are indebted to. Smith, Dustin Payseur of Beach Fossils, John Cudlip of Launder, and even DeMarco himself are all do-it-yourself geniuses. 

Another band of this dreamy variety, Juliper Sky, has only released four singles but seems to be gearing up for a debut album release. Each of their songs’ guitar parts are so atmospheric and explosive that the choruses take on that much more drama. I started commenting on some of their Instagram posts, encouraging them to hurry up and release more music, or come to Chicago from their hometown of Manchester. They took the time to reply back, which makes me like them even more. I believe they’ll be next in the line of legendary Manchester bands like Oasis, Joy Division, and the Smiths. If you like any of those bands, you’ll like Juliper Sky. 

Since I’ve exhausted the catalogues of the Cure and Mac DeMarco, it is incredibly refreshing to hear some new bands with unfamiliar material. I believe that DIIV is poised to be one of the best bands of the 2020s and Zachary Cole Smith will continue to collaborate with bands like Beach Fossils and Launder. The work to come from these artists is something for even the average music fan to get excited about. Any band or artist that expands a genre while drawing on the past of that genre deserves respect and credibility.

If melodic, relaxing rock music sounds appealing, these bands are the place to start. Stay tuned for a decade full of this brand of music, as it hopefully begins to take its rightful place in the mainstream.

Ryan Meyer is a freshman journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]