In the 1995 Steve Buscemi film Living In Oblivion, there's a scene when a vertically-challenged individual is hired for a dream sequence. He ends up going off on Buscemi, shouting "You think things are automatically surreal just because you hire a dwarf?"It takes more than a couple of wavy lines and swirly eyes to create a true dream sequence.
Dream pop, as a genre, is like pop music run through a dream sequence filter. Guitars and vocal harmonies are heard through a gelatinous wall, while echoes and reverb dance like a raincloud inside a cathedral.
Sentinel is a dream pop trio out of the Bay area, plying a kind of vintage dream pop, a la The Cocteau Twins or mid-era The Cure. It's refreshing to hear the light, airy vocals and dreamy guitars on their album Points of Light. Take for instance the opener "Innocence" which is one highlights or "Yahmahnee". The songs sparkle, are increasingly addictive and undeniably catchy.
The only thing that prevents Sentinel from reaching classic dream pop heights is a brittle quality to the guitars. The blunt force on tracks like "Wonder Reeling" or "The Good Life" tear and rend the gauzy, ethereal quality of the vocals, breaking the reverie, like Samuel Taylor Coleridge being ripped away from his opium dreams.
The songwriting and musical instincts are there, however. There's countless little details - atmospheric, amorphous background vocals and stacked guitars - to keep you interested for weeks.
Singing bass player Tarabud has an exquisite voice, on par with The Cocteau Twins' Liz Frazer, which bodes well for Sentinel. If they can figure out how to truly capture their beguiling sonic spell on tape, Sentinel will be a force to be reckoned with!
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook