As my last listen to Shin Hae Gyeong was his release, My Reversible Reaction, back in 2017, it has been a while. That release highlighted his dream pop, electronic style perfectly. If anything, In Dreams, In Dreams, is mellow and feels like you’re wandering and drifting inside his music. Backing band instrumentals make a bigger presence on the release, but is still supported with additional accents through synths and samples.
It really depends on what song you start listening to Shin Hae Gyeong with. You might get an indie pop rock sound that’s supported with dream pop electronics or you might get an ambient indie rock song that could actually be entirely samples. A live video showed Shin Hae Gyeong performing with a live band and reproducing his songs so maybe he’s a multi-instrumentalist when he composes. Regardless, In Dreams, In Dreams is perfectly named because you never feel weighed down during any track.
He may enjoy slower tempos, moving into an almost dream pop melodies inside a post-rock exploration, but songs like “Someday” are more radio-friendly. I think it’s easy to enjoy his music from the surface because it’s very inviting. As you go beneath the surface, you can really hear the layers of his music. While the core are Shin Hae Gyeong’s vocals and guitar, the use of bass and drums add a recognizable feeling throughout the entire album.
I think the songs are composed for a full band while being filtered through his musical perspective. “Monologue” is a simple electric guitar and vocal track which could easily be a strong acoustic song, but there are effects across the song to add to the atmosphere. I think there’s a layer on Shin Hae Gyeong’s music that gives it a different feel. The presentation feels like precision-crafted electronic pop rock, but it might be highly customized pop rock infused with electronic elements through filters and effects.
Either way, this makes his music very unique and you know that you’re listening to a Shin Hae Gyeong song. In Dreams, In Dreams is an excellent album and a great entry point to both electronic music and indie pop. It’s difficult to find a standout single because every single song has a strong effect as soon as it starts.