There’s plenty of music out there these days that claims to be dream pop. When you think about this it almost makes no sense. Dream pop isn’t really a genre, it’s more like a vague description of music and melodies that don’t actually likes to be described. Somewhere between psychedelic 80s pop and shoegazing reverbs bands like BEACH HOUSE or KEEP SHELLY IN ATHENS take us into the land of dreams. There’s also a basic misunderstanding. When people talk about dream pop they imagine bright and sunny dreams, harmonic sounds and something good. But dreams aren’t always good. Sometimes they want to discover the dark side of our inner minds. Or something else. That’s basically when SCARLET CHIVES come into play. The danish newcomers are here to show us the disturbing side of dreampop.
This Is Protection is the second album by the five piece from Denmark. You might not no them yet, but be ready to fall in love. Although that’s not entirely true since you might know Brian Batz who’s part of the band and is more famously known under his alias SLEEP PARTY PEOPLE. But he’s always trying to push SCARLET CHIVES and after listening to that album we clearly understand why. This Is Protection is not as harmonic and dreamy as other releases from that weird genre. It’s something else. And it’s no surprise when you have such a charismatic voice as leading instrument as the one from singer Maria Mortenson. Like a ghostly version of eccentric KATE BUSH she owns these songs. When the synth pads of the opener Hunting unravel like the waves of a stormy sea she marks the lighthouse and her job remains to guide us through the darkness of this record.
The new SCARLET CHIVES‘ record is definitely one you need to hear twice. Constantly switching between tender and – yes, indeed – dreamy melodies and noisy, disturbing guitar and electronic walls on the other side. Best demonstrated in a track like Timber Will Fall. It starts quite folky and melodic, only to explode in a big and rough finish. True beauty like the relaxing Bigger Than The Tall meet shoegazing extremes like Show The Rest. And there’s even room for an epic, almost movie score-like instrumentals like Sohn. You can almost smell the tension in the air. In the stunning closing track Eyes Go Dim it finally breaks loose and results in an enigmatic piece of noise pop. That’s what dreams are about? Maybe. This Is Protection might not be an easy longplayer and you might no listen to it twice before you realize its potential. It’s full of ambition and intensity. And these dreams are always the best, we know that from experience.