Sungaze’s new album This Dream truly reflects its title, it is a dream.
Sungaze, made up of husband and wife duo Ian Hilvert and Ivory Snow have only been producing albums since 2019, making This Dream only their second album ever. The album does not break new ground in the genre of dream pop but it is well crafted to fulfil lovers of the sound.
This Dream is short and sweet with only 8 tracks but is enough to understand what the Sungaze signature sound is and the type of music we can expect to hear from the Ohio-born duo. The album is filled with dream gaze numbers which evoke the feeling of floating, transcending into a different head space. However This Dream is for an acquired taste, it is so strictly in the dream pop, 60s psychedelic category that it would be impossible to enjoy to its full capacity if you were not a fan of the sound.
The album begins with Look Away and immediately we are introduced to a song that encases all the best traits the album has to offer. It begins delicately with the traditional dream pop-shoegaze instruments making for a melodious instrumental paired with the hypnotic vocals of the duo’s male counterpart. The addition of a synthesiser and synth drums transform the song halfway through, making for an intense sound with a rock feel. The lyrics only add to the hypnotic feel with the constant repetition of ‘Time is on your side’ echoed throughout. This is closely followed by Body In The Mirror, Ivory Snow does the vocals making it sound more angelic and like the female version of the song it proceeds. Having a track each at the beginning of the album helps to distinguish between both artists and allows them to flaunt their vocals and their ability to evoke emotion. Change Will Come is the next in concession, featuring both the couples voices, showing that they sound eerily perfect together. Possibly just a coincidence paired with an overthinker but it appears there is a peripeteia in the album after the title track This Dream, the alliteration of all the tracks titles until the end of the album and the single female vocals makes it seem like an non-unified change in demeanour.
The first single from the album Storm Chaser is a highlight of the album, the track puts you into an oneiric induced state. When talking about the single, Sungaze explained “The song was written during quarantine and chronicles the process of becoming aware of the things we do to hold ourselves back in life–self-sabotaging patterns, escapism, etc. – and letting go of them to embrace the inner storm and find peace within.”
The album ends with Slow The Burn, the instrumental is initially acoustic sounding before launching into their signature sound making for an authentic ending.
Sungaze have gracefully mastered all the best elements of dream pop in This Dream and it’s now time watch as they travel through their music making journey and hopefully uncover their own sub-genre.