About ten seconds into your first listen to Dream Diary's debut album You Are the Beat, you'll know that the New York band is well acquainted with the Sarah records catalog. You'll get the idea that their favorite incarnation of Primal Scream is the one who released "Velocity Girl;" that they are well-versed in the melodic arts as practiced by groups from the Monkees ("Daydream Believer") to Belle & Sebastian ("Another Sunny Day"); and that they've had their young hearts broken a few times. Though their sound has clear antecedents, don't get the idea that their tenderly constructed, brilliantly played songs are merely recreations of the past glories of bands like Brighter, the Orchids or East Village. Instead, the band invest their lush indie pop tunes with all kinds of bruised soul and hushed passion, making sure to deliver them with clear, memorable melodies and sweetly crooned vocals that have a quiet, but very real, conviction. If you've ever been a fan of indie pop, you really need to check this band out!
We asked singer/guitarist Jacob Stern for a short list of the indie pop albums that have inspired him over the years and he delivered a good one.
Saint Etienne – So Tough
"My favorite album ever, period, this is everything pop should be."
Adventures In Stereo – Adventures in Stereo
"There’s nothing else really like this album – twenty perfect minute-and-a-half gems created by layering girl-group harmonies over top of looped, hazy samples."
The Go-Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane
"So classy and classic and romantic! Shimmering music with lyrics to write on the cover of your notebook."
Look Blue Go Purple – Compilation
"Filled with haunting organ and flute, and primal drums -- sadness, power, and indie pop prettiness all mixed together."
1000 Violins - Hey Man That’s Beautiful
"An overlooked album of earnest, sweet, jangly anthems with a pair of unforgettable songs -- "If Only Words" and "Let Me Charm The Pants Off Your World"."
Here's Dream Diary playing "Audrey of the Spirits" live at the Athens Popfest in 2010.