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Dream Pop

2nd of September, 2020

This piece was first left as a review on the website I was reviewing Heaven or Las Vegas, the Cocteau Twins album. It could have been left as a review on any dream pop album really, since the piece is mostly an observation of mind that what most people think of as being "dreamlike", an ethereal atmosphere and perhaps the faint shimmering of Tarkovskian nostalgia, is rather at odds with my experience of dreams in practise. Blue Bell Knoll is a far superior album.

I don't normally remember my dreams, just the really weird ones.

I dreamt that I tweeted "Javier Bardem came to me in my dreams and gave me an omelette" and that it blew up and got 100K likes. I didn't dream that Javier Bardem came to me and gave me an omelette, only that I tweeted about that. I woke up and tweeted that exact phrase and it got about 30 likes.

I dreamt that the world was in dire straits. Some enemy, a martial force that felt threatening yet vague in the way that dream threats feel, was bearing down on us.

"There is only one way to fight them off," my secondary school English teacher said. "We need the help of the Wookies."

"Like, from Star Wars? Where can we even find an army of Wookies?" I asked.

"We can ask Antony Worral Thompson," said my stepfather.

I dreamt I was a lot older, probably 40 or so, and I had a family. My wife didn't really feature in the dream, though she was there. I had two children as well but the only one that had a speaking role was a six year old girl. We as a family had gone out to watch a racing event, which was being held in the middle of a grassy plain. Crucially, the racers themselves were all polar bears wearing roller skates. The bears had to skate around on the grass in a big figure of eight, getting stuck and falling here and there as the grass and mud got stuck in the wheels of their skates. Though amusing, a real drama appeared when a giant polar bear the size of a house appeared from off the horizon and began brutally slaughtering the skaters with bone shattering blows from paws the size of cars. For some reason I didn't feel a sense of urgency, perhaps because I knew via dream logic that the Polar Bear God (which I also knew was what this thing was) didn't want to hurt us humans. My daughter was distraught though, I had to try and explain the circle of life to her. She seemed to intuitively understand that my explanation wasn't very good because a giant polar bear God indiscriminately murdering athletes doesn't seem part of the food chain. On the way back home we were driving through some very idyllic farmland, just rolling fields, and in one of the fields was the Arc de Triomph, standing alone and apart.

Heaven or Las Vegas, released in 1990, is the seventh album from British band Cocteau Twins. The guitars are all treated with an effect that produces a sort of sea-sick phasing, which makes it an uncomfortable listen. The genre of this album is "dream pop".