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Old 09-14-2021, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 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
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Old 09-14-2021, 10:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe some The War On Drugs?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9LgHNf2Qy0


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeaDE1magRk
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Old 09-15-2021, 04:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for trying but I gotta say that I don't hear a similarity.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:44 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yeah, that was a stretch.

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Old 09-17-2021, 05:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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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.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm not sure if there is a band quite like Dream Academy. Slowdive maybe?
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This mortal coil maybe? Or Cocteu twins? Or New Order? Etc...
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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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.)
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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How about Talk Talk, starting with The Colour of Spring?
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Old 09-18-2021, 06:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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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. )
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