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The dream pop music genre is have become known in the 1980s through the work of the Scottish band, Cocteau Twins, to the British duo, A.R Kane. Following the emergence of shoegaze, ambient pop developed as a variant of dream pop that combines electronic textures.

Before being popularized by these bands, the history of dream pop has started since the 1960s. One of the leading music writers, Nathan Wiseman-Trowse, mentions that the approach to the physicality/psychic of sound in dream pop was pioneered by figures such as Phil Spector and Brian Wilson. Meanwhile, according to music journalist John Bergstrom, George Harrison's 1970 album, All Things Must Pass, was the ancestor of the dream pop genre. Then, the term dream pop was used by Alex Ayuli from the duo A.R. Kane in the 1980s to describe their band's music. Writing in 1991, New York Times journalist Simon Reynolds described the dream pop genre as a combination of a faint, distorted guitar sound with mumbling vocals. Meanwhile, in terms of lyrics, Reynold said that the dream pop genre tends to tell about a fun experience and often uses mystical elements.