Light Pollution, Stealing Phil Spector’s Drumbeats, and Dream Pop Hell

Nicking bits from other people’s songs is just fine by me. Countless bands get their knickers in a twist over it – Google “Elastica + Wire + lawsuit” for breathtaking examples of wholesale riff-stealing – but such re-appropriation could just as easily be passed off as a charming pastiche, right?

I’ll give Light Pollution the benefit of the doubt, and say that their use of a familiar drumbeat is mere coincidence. And let’s face it, stealing the drumbeat from Be My Baby for their song Drunk Kids is no crime. It never did the Jesus And Mary Chain any harm and they used it for every song on their début album.

Light Pollution // Drunk Kids

Drunk Kids, as woozy and disorientated as you’d expect, is the downbeat polar opposite to LCD Soundsystem’s Drunk Girls; where that song was hyped up on stupid, this is lost in billowing, rainbow-arced mist – full of wonder, beauty and confusion.

Songs are routinely described as ‘dreamy’ – the description has become shorthand for any song that sounds ‘a bit floaty, and/or ethereal’. This seems unfair – my dreams usually involve waking up in a cold sweat, clawing at the walls, which would mean that the only album that this particular description could legitimately be applied to would be Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy.

But Drunk Kids is dreamy – not only in the clichéd sense, but also in the way it captures the feeling of being a helpless character in a story of your own making.

The song inhabits a rich, heady and swirling place – and like all of your favourite dreams, you’ll want to get back there as soon as it stops. But, of course, it’ll never be quite the same.


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