Daydream Nation is a 1988 album recorded by Sonic Youth, a seminal noise rock band. It bridged the band's noise rock beginnings and indie rock future in a highly praised album.
Sonic Youth was formed in the No Wave scene in New York, but along with Swans found moderate success after the scene faded. In the previous year, the band had released Sister, an album that represented a step towards alternative rock, with splashes of new wave. Friends of the band told them to try and encapsulate more of their live sound, so Daydream Nation features longer songs than prior albums.
"Teenage Riot" is exemplary of the sound of the album: catchy guitar hooks, an extended song structure, and guitars with lots of gain. "Providence" is a song similar to the band's future SYR series of experimental albums, featuring a telephone conversation from Minutemen's Mike Watt.
Daydream Nation codified much of the indie rock sound that you still hear today. While Sister had an alt rock sound, Daydream Nation is a keystone of the indie rock genre.
Daydream Nation is one of the most acclaimed rock albums of all time. It has received 10/10 Pitchfork (who named it the best album of the 80s), a 9/10 from Piero Scaruffi, a 9.5/10 from Marcel's Music Journal, 5 stars from AllMusic, and an A from Robert Christgau. In 2005 it was chosen by the Library of the U.S. Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry.