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nr13 09-14-2021 08:11 AM

Bands similar to Dream Academy?
Hi! :)

Recommendation engines usually just spit out twangy 80s bands like Johnny Hates Jazz. Maybe because DA did have a few twangy songs themselves (IIRC)? But obviously, it's usually all about that mostly mellow, dreamy sound and soft vocals.

I recently discovered some songs by Pet Shop Boys that are incredibly satisfyingly similar, such as "Jealousy". But that's it.

Anyone got some suggestions? This has been driving me increasingly nuts for like a decade... O_o ;)

Plankton 09-14-2021 10:08 AM

Maybe some The War On Drugs?

nr13 09-15-2021 04:04 PM

Thanks for trying but I gotta say that I don't hear a similarity. :)

Plankton 09-16-2021 07:44 AM

Yeah, that was a stretch.

bob_32_116 09-17-2021 05:26 AM

If you listen to some Dream Academy songs and imagine them being backed by synths in the style of early 1980s bands like Spandau Ballet or ABC or Kids In the Kitchen, they would sound quite a lot like those bands. What I think sets Dream Academy above those acts is that their sound was much more organic, generally guitar-based, and it did not sound like a programmed machine.

I realise I am showing my bias here; I really really disliked a lot of that early 80s synth-pop, and when DA came along it sounded like a breath of fresh air.

rubber soul 09-17-2021 06:17 AM

I'm not sure if there is a band quite like Dream Academy. Slowdive maybe?

adidasss 09-17-2021 06:52 AM

This mortal coil maybe? Or Cocteu twins? Or New Order? Etc...

nr13 09-18-2021 06:18 AM


Originally Posted by bob_32_116 (Post 2185390)
their sound was much more organic, generally guitar-based, and it did not sound like a programmed machine.

True, although at the same time, I think the synths play an important role (see e.g. "Power to Believe"). Otherwise, you'd kind of just have Shoegaze - like Slowdive.

I think the relatively mellow nature is also key. Not as mellow as Shoegaze but at least in my opinion more mellow than those bands you listed. (I listened to them again just now and I guess my memory distorted a bit how relatively upbeat DA songs actually are. But I still think there are slow aspects to their songs where bands like Spandau Ballet just keep pumping along.)

adidasss 09-18-2021 06:36 AM

How about Talk Talk, starting with The Colour of Spring?

nr13 09-18-2021 06:40 AM

Maybe it's just me, but DA gives me a sort of hippie at-peace-with-nature vibe (I would need to listen to all the songs again but there's just gotta be a tambourine buried somewhere...) rather than either the melancholic Shoegaze or overexcited, distinctly commercial Pop.

When I e.g. listen to "Life in a Northern Town" - I intentionally never watched a music video that I guess exists and don't pay attention to the lyrics because in my head, there's a fair in the countryside, golden morning light and children playing around. (While I can't stand fairs, hyperactive children, the countryside or getting up early, there's something enchanting about that image. :D )

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