Dreamscape emerged during the early 90’s heyday of shoegaze, and as quickly as they hit the scene they drifted back into obscurity. In the three years of their existence, 1990-93, the trio of Rebecca Rawlings, Scott Purnell and Jamie Gingell didn’t leave a vast collection of music behind, but what remained has now been carefully put back together by kranky and released as La-Di-Da Recordings. The nine-track compilation covers the essential work of this short-lived band and sheds light on some seriously good shoegaze, a genre that has been resurrected outright over the past few years.
La-Di-Da hits on all the late 80’s/early 90’s cornerstones, and anyone with a penchant for Cocteau Twins, Lush, Ride or Slowdive will warm up to Dreamscape’s ethereal brand of gothic pop almost immediately. The warm inviting tones of Rawlings’ voice remain a highlight throughout the record, and when she’s backed up with solid guitar work as on ‘So Far From Belief,’ ‘Finally Through,’ and ‘Greater Than God’ the combination is nothing short of intoxicating.
The record is split between the first four tracks, which were meant to be part of an album prior to the band breaking up, and the latter half which is made up of the band’s 1992 EP Cradle. The first half of La-Di-Da is far more upbeat than the second half, featuring songs that are oriented more towards pop than to noise. These are the songs where Rawlings voice is given the time to shine. The second half however, is a much darker affair all together. ‘Cradle,’ ‘Nine Times To Die’ and ‘No More But Thought’ shoot for ethereal dream world this band was named for.
Though their output was minimal when they were together it is still easy to hear Dreamscape’s influence, along with countless other shoegaze bands, coursing through the indie pop of today. Now, thanks to kranky, we’re allowed to enjoy this Bristol trio anew. During their time together they may have toiled away in obscurity, but the ethereal wash of their songs is right at home in the modern world.