Thursday, July 19, 2007

Is there any song that better exemplifies Dream Pop than "Strawberries" by Asobi Seksu?

I can't imagine there could be. Well, I can imagine that there could be, but every time I hear this song I think of how dreamy and poppy it is, and how it would make a pretty good example if you wanted to explain to someone the concept of "dream pop"*. Let's see what we've got here:

Loud, deliberately muddy guitars
Echoing bass drum beat
Entrancing drone of a bassline
Beautiful, faraway female vocals
An awesome tempo shift late in the song (climax, anyone?)
The following lyrics (I think they're translated from Japanese; I can't tell what she's saying in the song):

like a red sky, it goes on forever
when you're in the strawberry fields
just listen, you can hear them
they'll call out loudly
they shout, "don't forget about me"

now they're slowly disappearing
the deafening strawberries
but when you're in the strawberry fields
just listen, you'll still hear them
they'll call out loudly
they shout, "don't forget about me"

Somewhere far away there is a lonely girl sitting by a window in the countryside at night. She's visiting relatives, but they've all gone to bed and now she's wondering what her friends are doing back home, in the big city and the only place she's ever felt right. While they're sitting in someone's basement, drinking PBR and playing Trivial Pursuit, she's pretty convinced they're playing laser tag on flying unicorns in the Technicolor** night sky. However, they're not playing laser tag, they're fighting for their freedom from the relentless oppressor of fun, who is a nameless and figureless creature known as "He-Whose-Name-Is-Not-Known". They wander through the sky for hours, encountering magical creatures who befriend them (but only because kids who go on these kinds of adventures tend to have drugs--the kids in question were clean), only to be abandoned (because friends who just want drugs aren't real friends) at the final confrontation with "He-Whose-Name-Is-Not-Known" (this is the part of the song where everything but the repetitive ascending guitar line cuts out and things are getting a whole hell of a lot faster). They've got him cornered and his laser target is unguarded! Duck, shoot, shoot, shoot, duck! ZAP! Buzz, flash flash flash***!

And everyone just floats away.

*I don't know what Dream Pop is supposed to sound like.
**Like Joseph's Dream Coat.
***That's what laser tag targets do when you hit them.

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