The Evolution of Dream Pop

Last summer I discovered a genre of music called Dream Pop. I realized that I had been a fan for a while of this particular style of music, being that I enjoyed indie bands such as Wild Nothing, Beach House, The Radio Dept., M83, and Silversun Pickups to name a few. I fell in love though when I began listening to Youth Lagoon. The band, which consists mostly of artist Trevor Powers, who sings and plays keyboard, was featured on the website Pitchfork after receiving great reviews for their first album The Year of Hibernation. The style of music is called Dream Pop because it is indeed very dreamy. It mostly consists of bright melodies and distant vocals. It could be the soundtrack to your most favorite daydream. One of my friends described the sound as “music underwater.” It is a genre that started in the 1980’s and was referred to as “shoegaze”, but has recently expanded to include a wide variety of artists.

Back in November I had the privilege to see Youth Lagoon live at The Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta. I had always loved the sound of their music recorded but it became vibrant and was really brought to life when I heard it in person. It was amazing to see at the show such an array of people, from high school students to middle age couples, who enjoyed their music. Afterwards I had the opportunity to meet the band and talk to them about what inspired the music they wrote. Hearing about the recording process was very interesting and reflective of how the music industry works today. Trevor Powers said he recorded the entire album at a friend’s studio and then played it in his friend’s garage and rerecorded it so that it would sound distant and echo-y. It goes to show that you don’t need huge effects and expensive, professional producers to become successful. These days, many people like music that sounds genuine and real.

Since they came onto the scene last spring, Youth Lagoon has toured across the country, played music festivals SXSW and Coachella, and their music has been featured on playlists in clothing stores such as Urban Outfitters and J. Crew. They have become the Dream Pop poster child. Their popularity continues to grow as their fan base expands. I feel lucky to have discovered them at the beginning of their journey and will no doubt be a fan of theirs for life.

(Emily Madden – Neurotic Media Intern)

Lost In Music

Music is a very profound subject for me. The idea of having a favorite song is likeGeorge Harris Neurotic Media having a favorite outfit. It’s only your favorite until you discover something new or you just simply get tired of it. I really enjoy Pop music because it has a solid foundation for me. Pop music gives me the opportunity to keep up with culture and be aware of what my peers are listening to.

In middle school and high school, I remember getting up really early before school just to watch the music videos playing on MTV and VH1. I saw this as my time to research and see what was popular because I knew these songs would be up for discussion when I got to school. During that time, Ciara had just come out with the single “1, 2 Step” and was killing it on the charts. I tried to learn every dance routine from the music video. Even if I didn’t pick-up every single step, it sure felt like I had because no beat was left without movement. At this point when I was growing up, I realized I had a strong passion for music – but not just music; entertainment as a whole.

My favorite genre of music is still Pop. For me, it’s a way to connect with other people because we can all relate to music. If I’m ever not sure what to listen to next, or in other words when I’m lost in music, I can always use the charts as a way to track the direction of what’s popular and identify what’s happening right now.

(George Harris – Neurotic Media Intern)

Pickin’ on Saturdays

Gary Eaton Neurotic MediaI play the mandolin. I picked up the instrument back in the fall of 2005 – I’m not all that great, far from it in fact, but it’s something I really enjoy.

There’s a special place near where I live called Everett’s Music Barn. It’s pretty well known in the circles of Bluegrass music. For the past 30 some odd years, people have been showing up from all around to hear and play Bluegrass music on Saturday nights. It’s really quite an institution and a wonderful tradition.

The set up works like this – on the property, there’s a little red barn that holds maybe 125 – 150 people. Seating is comprised of folding chairs, plastic chairs and a few old church pews. The small stage is only about six inches off the ground and it has held some of the best musicians to ever walk the planet. Nearly all of the groups that tour the Bluegrass circuit have played at Everett’s during some point in their career.

My favorite part of Everett’s though is the house. This is where people of all ages and all skill levels bring their instruments and play. Because the catalog of Bluegrass music is a language shared by everyone in attendance, it’s actually possible for a group of complete strangers to gather up in a circle and take off on a song by the likes of Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Ralph Stanley, Jimmy Martin, etc.

Some nights, nearly every room of this old house is filled with musicians doing what they love to do. It’s not uncommon to see a circle of pickers in the kitchen by the ever present coffee pot.  When the weather is nice, the porch is a popular place as well.  On occasion, when things come together just right, it’s a transcendental occurrence that simply can’t be described; it has to be experienced.

Ultimately, it’s the music that bonds us together. It’s why we’re all there. It’s a shared love, a shared passion and as a result, there’s a great sense of community and fellowship – and it happens at Everett’s Music Barn when people are pickin’ on Saturdays.

(Gary Eaton – Neurotic Media VP Sales)

Music is everything

Ariel Bailey Music Is Everything I became a music lover by the time I was two or three years old. I remember having a little Fisher-Price cassette player and I would walk around the house with it playing all of my favorite nursery rhymes and songs. Attached to the cassette player was a microphone that I would sing into as loud as I could. One of my favorite songs to sing was “The Wheels on the Bus.”

Growing up I was exposed to all types of music, so I truly enjoy all genres. I mostly listen to Pop, Country, Gospel, R&B, Rock and Hip Hop. In general, I’ll probably enjoy any song with a good melody and/or meaningful lyrics. I can’t say that I have a favorite type of music, but I do have favorite eras of music if that makes sense. For example, I love the funk and soul music from the 70’s and I love R&B music from the 90’s.

To me, music is everything. There is a song to fit every emotion that I am feeling at any particular time. Although, I personally don’t have any musical talent, I know good music when I hear it. I listen to music every single day and would probably go crazy if I didn’t.

(Ariel Bailey – Neurotic Media Intern)

Me and an Almost Elvis

Believe it or not, I actually turned down a chance to be a back-up singer for an Elvis impersonator in Gatlinburg, TN. It was early spring in 1986 and I was living in Knoxville, TN – basically still trying to decide what to do with my life.

I was leaning toward pursuing a career on the business side of music. Somewhere along the line I realized that even though I’d been in bands and had some legitimate musical talent, the odds for me of actually making a living as an Artist were pretty small. So, I started looking into schools that could put me on the right path to get a job in the music industry.

Right about that same time, I was approached with an Gary Eatonopportunity to audition for a spot in a local Country / Gospel quartet. These guys were similar in style to groups like The Oak Ridge Boys and The Statler Brothers. Having been raised on a heavy diet of Southern Gospel music, those types of harmonies came very naturally to me – so I said what the heck and gave it a shot.

Sure enough, I got the spot and come to find out, the group had a public appearance scheduled in Gatlinburg that was just a week or two away. Fortunately, it was just a short appearance and not a full concert performance.

Also appearing at this event was an Elvis impersonator who had a regular show that ran in Gatlinburg during the summer. After hearing our performance, he approached us in full character and asked if we might be interested in being his back up vocal group for the coming season; kind of surreal when you think about it.

Soon after, I decided to go to school and had to drop out of the group. The other guys found a new baritone and the quartet did in fact take the gig – and I bet they had an absolute blast. Think about it, an entire summer singing songs for Smoky Mountain tourists with an Elvis impersonator.

I’ve certainly wondered how life would have turned out had I stayed in Tennessee and sang with an “almost” Elvis, but no regrets. Pursuing a career in the music industry has been one of the best decisions I ever made, and I’m proud to be here at Neurotic Media.

(Gary Eaton / VP Sales / @garyeaton)