KT EMMERSON: Merging Your Dualities Through Dreampop

Merging Your Dualities Through Dreampop: Bedbugs And Ballyhoo.

Merging Your Dualities Through Dreampop

by Kt Emmerson

Have you witnessed the delicious melding of melancholia and beach-y surf sounds in dreampop? Like this little sparkle fest:

Wray – “Hypatia”

Nothing says ‘sad’ like California sunshine, right? Those tans, the waves, Hot-Dog-on-a-Stick, it really brings out your inner hopelessness.

But, I guess that’s where other non-melancholics can’t break the stereotype. Honestly, I’ve never met a true goth-new waver-emo who didn’t have a sly side smile under those black lips. Did you not see Robert Smith winking under that ratty hair? Well, I did. And so did Carl Jung, in a way. He’s not the first to point out the energy of the opposites, but he made the Eastern idea of opposing forces within the mental landscape more accessible to westerners.

It isn’t until I started my Jung self-study that I shed my shame for inner angst, and lingering feelings of that missing “thing”. There’s a ton of meat to bite in Jungian psychology, I’m just a layperson in the church of Jung, but I can see what he meant even in my niche-bound world of post-punk, new wave, new romantics. Maybe it’s kind of a good thing that the stereotype of the goth dark soul persists, lest we feel outed with our secret adoration of life! The delicate scaffold of our world view might be leveled if the wrong person learned we are actually delighted by these beautiful opposites we all experience.


That’s the thing about too much of a thing…it always goes sour…

…too much altruism ends up like a UN mission, strong on ideals and soft on the efficacy

…too much iron fist and you get punk rock kids up in your politics

…too much love looks like Munchausen by proxy

…too much nihilism and you go Less Than Zero (that’s where it all started for poor RDJr)…

So, take your sword you fell on and put it back in the rock, Lancelot (ok, that was Arthur). Not every story needs a hero. And look at Robert Downey Jr. now; he has found his Tony Stark. It’s all fun and games again (maybe he’s an absurdist now, thank you, Camus).


Unlike the rugged individualists (whom I admire for their zest) we rugged observist see life dark and light mingling together, attachment and freedom as salt and pepper. That’s why we totally get Jett Rink, Hud, and all that juicy Southern Gothic; easily straddling the fence of right and wrong, serious and trickster…at least in the confines of a nice plot.

We all get out of whack in real life. A little bit too much self-defeating talk, too little nature, too much stockpiling, not enough “damn the torpedoes” attitude. If you know me or read between the lines, you can clearly see I might too often fall on the “bollocks to you all” side of the tightrope. I’m still not sure that’s the wrong choice.

Here are a few tunes to bring your yin and yang into harmony, integrate your shadow, or just lighten the hell up!

DIIV – Past Lives

Those harmonies put me in mind of Dream Academy with a little more daylight drum beat…

Hibou – Motion

Kt loves jangly, easy swaying sounds, but the pretty, pretty melody is the shining star in this one.

Lower Dens – Ondine

Allison Moyet had a child and she got the good vocal genes (and a bitchin’ beat).

All this to say that you can be and you are two things at the same time. Or it could be all the vitamin D from the California sunshine.

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