Various Artists – A Wish on a Star

Various Artists
A Wish on a Star

Dreamy is a London-based record label that specializes in the softer, more quirky side of pop music from the UK. On this, their second compilation, they manage to attract a wide array of artists from the US and the UK and put together a nicely flowing, playful, charming group of 20 songs.
Some of the Dreamy artists are well represented here. (The Real) Tuesday Weld provides a quirky, 50s movie soundtrack piece complete with plenty of sampling to kick off the album and closes with “The Birds + The Bees,” much more along his usual lines with his deep, throaty vocals and light, up-beat tune. The especially quirky Santa Sprees does two songs. “Back in Yr Pram” settles down into a nice, simple, kind of quiet bit of Brit-pop after an especially annoying start, and “Make Room,” for all it’s weird backing “I’ll make” vocals, is a nice pop song as well. Graham’s “Jezebel Blue” is another piece of gorgeous, piano-focused soft pop from this artist with the amazing voice. A bit more upbeat than their usual material, “Stream” by Arco is still very quiet and peaceful.
The other artists fit right in, offering quiet, sweet pop songs for the most part. M. Ward (of Giant Sand) contributes a quiet, singer/songwriter acoustic pop song called “I’ll Be Yr Bird,” and there’s a hint of a country-ish, Neil Young style folk twinge to the harmonica-laden “I’ll Think of it Today” by Broken Dog. More lovely, soft, orchestrated pop from Flare, as “Some Words on Parting” is a very quiet track from those boys. Saxophone lends a dreamy quality to the very quiet “Some Breezes” by Jamie Owen, and rivulets’ “Swans” is a minimalistic, slow-core affair that somehow strikes me every time I hear it. It reminds me vaguely of American Football.
Organ lends a European flare to Ursula’s “Mi Ilegada,” and Summer Hymns have a nice, light, folksy pop approach on “Trolling on the Lake.” Things pick up with “Kings Parade” by S. Hotel, a lovely, sultry 40s style pop song with gorgeous female vocals, and The Witch Hazel Sound’s “The Man Who Invented California” is a lovely retro-influenced pop song. I find myself getting more into the quiet sentiment of Stars on the Water’s “Making Up is Hard to Do” with each listen.
The only fault I have with this compilation is that many of the artists sound fairly interchangeable. The music, especially in the middle here, tends to sound very similar: quiet, acoustic, sweet. A few more unique acts to space things out would have been nice. But overall, these are some fantastic songs, and this album will help you wile away the time without even knowing it.