Listen To: The ‘Dream Pop’ of Blue Herons

Listen To: The ‘Dream Pop’ of Blue Herons

Adriana SaboWednesday,25 March 2015

It is always a good thing to discover quality pop bands that add a special twist to their music. Blue Herons is most definitely one such band. They describe what they do quite simply, as Alternative/Indie music, or, more precisely (and elaborately), indie rock and indie pop, with a touch of dream pop. Blue Herons is a band form Gainesville, Florida, “that specializes in music that you hopefully enjoy,” as they say in a short description available to those interested in their music. They issued a self-titled album a few months ago and it’s an attention-worthy collection of tracks.

Blue Herons opens up a number of important questions about pop music. For example, the band makes me think about what is it that we call “pop” and, more importantly, how come the term “alternative” became so tightly associated with pop. So, to clarify, when I say pop, I don’t (necessarily) mean Beyoncé or Rihanna. In case of Blue Herons, pop lies in the mostly “traditional” or “typical” harmonic progressions, a lot of fun, lovely melodies and a general “easiness” and lightness that their music possesses. So the term “alternative” is in their case directed at the pop conventions established by mainstream pop superstars, since Blue Herons is most definitely not mainstream in that sense. It offers an alternative view of the genre of pop that deconstructs certain aspects of this music.

The eleven tracks on Blue Herons bring about the sunshine. Dreamy pop is how its makers defined this album and they couldn’t be more right. The whole album has that lovely feeling of haziness that you feel on a sunny, warm, Sunday afternoon, while you are lying on a beach (in Florida, most likely), without a care in the world. Or you are somewhere peaceful, observing the herons flying. The tracks on Blue Herons all possess the simultaneously peaceful and energetic vibe that is really perfect for relaxation. Thus, Blue Herons is not a band that exists on the margins of society. They don’t intend to give political commentary, talk about social injustice or shock you with harsh and aggressive music. Their alternativeness–yes, I do intend to use that as an actual word–lies in the fact that they dismantle the pop standard from within.

Songs on Blue Herons are, most of all, fantastically done, when it comes to the technical aspect. They are thoroughly thought through and each aspect of every track is precisely where it should be. Some riffs are a bit more on the “rock side” of things and a number of songs evade the usual pop song form that entails (sometimes) endless repetition of the verse and chorus. An especially great effect is achieved by blurring the words. The vocals are there, yet the words are impossible to understand. One down side of the Blue Herons album is the lack of contrast. Songs sound quite alike, and the album seems more as a (random) collection of tracks than one integral entity.

Still, one small thing is not enough to change the incredibly positive energy and all other great qualities of Blue Herons’ music. Feeling blue? Then listen! You can hear the whole album below:

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