Bands/Musicians The Best Dream Pop Bands  

Reference
3.4k votes 596 voters 41.6k views 160 items

Coined in the 1980s, dream pop rose to prominence in that decade and was generally used to describe shoegaze. However, over the years dream pop has evolved to define dream pop bands as those who use ambient, melodic sounds with breathy vocals to create a wall of noise. Over the years, dream pop bands have grown in popularity and can often times be seen at music festivals. Though a subgenre of alternative music, dream pop music is known for focusing on atmospheric and mood sounds and focuses on imagery.

So, what are the best dream pop bands? Any list of dream pop groups has to include the likes of Beach House, Cocteau Twins, M83, Sigur Ros and Slowdive. These bands are widely considered at enhancing dream pop's profile and bringing it to a wider audience. Though it's been called anti-rock for it's use of trip hop, slowcore and post-rock, dream pop bands are minimalist by nature and that helps explain why listeners are often taken into a trance-like state when they listen to the music.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best dream pop groups. If you see a dream pop band that isn't on this list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best dream pop bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest dream pop musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular dream pop bands that you might've heard of. (160 items)
Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
179 60
Beach House is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Electronic music

2
130 46
Cocteau Twins is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Gothic rock, Ethereal wave

3
111 39
Slowdive is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Space rock, Experimental rock

4
34 9
Tame Impala is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Rockstar101ification added Space rock, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

5
45 21
The Sundays is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Indie pop, Dream pop, Alternative rock

6
69 41
Sigur Rós is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Experimental rock, Minimalist Post Rock

7
73 45
M83 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Synthpop, New Wave, Indietronica

8
47 24
Lush is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop

9
28 10
The Arcana is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
*DSO* added

Albums: Lemon Freddy Phantom of the Sky (2017)

Tomorrow is Yesterday (2016)

10
33 16
Galaxie 500 is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Indie rock

11
39 25
The xx is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Indie pop, New Wave, Electronic music

12
21 9
Kitchens of Distinction is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Neo-psychedelia, Dream pop

13
25 14
The Church is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Jangle pop, New Wave, Rock music

14
26 15
Blonde Redhead is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Noise rock, Shoegazing, Rock music

15
20 10
Siouxsie & the Banshees is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
SteveSmith added New Wave, Gothic rock, Alternative rock

16
21 11
Mojave 3 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Folk music, Country rock, Dream pop

17
16 7
The Boo Radleys is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Dream pop, Britpop

18
17 8
Hope Sandoval is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Shoegazing, Psychedelia, Folk rock

19
14 6
Ride is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Rockstar101ification added Shoegazing, Space Rock, Alternative rock

20
14 6
Air is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Rockstar101ification added Downtempo, New Wave, Pop music

21
18 10
The Chameleons is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
New Wave, Gothic rock, Dream pop

22
21 13
Pale Saints is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Indie pop, Shoegazing, Dream pop

23
21 13
Yo La Tengo is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Noise rock, Shoegazing, Experimental rock

24
12 5
The Jesus and Mary Chain is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Rockstar101ification added Indie pop, Shoegazing, Alternative rock

25
18 11
Bat for Lashes is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Dream Pop Bands
Indie pop, Synthpop, Emo