By Cam LindsayWhat is it? An indie/alternative subgenre that evokes a hypnagogic state and relies heavily on ethereal textures built from reverb-heavy production, glimmering guitar jangle and whispered or operatic vocals.
Who's doing it? Dream pop has seen a major boost in its profile thanks to Beach House (pictured), who took it to #7 on Billboard in May with their album, Bloom. Also, Braids made 2011's Polaris Music Prize short list. Twin Sister, I Break Horses and Porcelain Raft all released highly acclaimed releases in the past year.
Where should I start? 4AD is basically responsible for its existence, thanks to pioneers like Cocteau Twins, A.R. Kane and This Mortal Coil, as well as current artists like Blonde Redhead, Atlas Sound and even Canadian newcomers Purity Ring, who all diversify dream pop. See also: everything by Sigur Rós.
What's next? The debut albums by Echo Lake and Purity Ring. Wild Nothing's sophomore album (out August 28).