The Dream Academy

The Dream Academy

Best known for the 1985 single “Life in a Northern Town” (a tribute to Nick Drake, then mostly unknown), The Dream Academy recorded a magical self-titled album that remains among the finest of the '80s. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour assisted band leader Nick Laird-Clowes with the production, which expanded the sound of the British art-school trio beyond all imagination, featuring orchestrations, choir-like backing vocals, and modern synths to create ‘80s-styled psychedelic pop music, much in the vein of Prefab Sprout. The album’s second single, “The Love Parade,” was less of a hit, but creatively speaking, songs such as “The Edge of Forever,” “(Johnny) New Light," and the somber, gorgeous “In Places on the Run” were complex new music, hinged on the advanced keyboard programming of Gilbert Gabriel and heartbreaking vocals from Laird-Clowes. Multi-instrumentalist Kate St. John would go on to work with Van Morrison. In the 2010s, countless young bands are emulating elements of The Dream Academy's style, trying to capture the stirring atmospheres of “This World” and “One Dream.”

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