Dream on Dreamy - Review
This band got their start just a few years ago as the duo Mikael Jacobson and Rickard Folke.
They've had their challenges putting this album together including a loss of recordings and data. They started from scratch and managed to finally pull it all together with this album spanning nine captivating tracks with a great mix of new wave and shoegaze styles.
This band really came out of nowhere for me, it's a great new discovery as a long-time fan of various flavors of new wave and shoegaze bands throughout the 80's and 90's and always on the lookout for great new talent like this. I first previewed their video of "Idiot Dreaming" which the audio track appears on this album just over halfway through. This track captured my attention with it's orchestral-like flavor of seemingly layers upon layers of soaring guitars and keyboards over driving percussion and a heavy bass. The vocal style immediately reminded me of The Stone Roses
and the music in some ways with The Jesus and Mary Chain, Slowdive
and more contemporary artists that readers will be familiar with here like Mira
and Autumn's Grey Solace
with that dreamy, ethereal shoegaze sound.
The entire album comes together well across these nine pieces. "The Great Big Void" kicks it off with a short intro and quickly building up with a nice driving beat and those soaring guitars and synths. Each piece follows something of the standard pattern that most shoegaze bands follow, starting out somewhat somber and minimal and gradually adding layer upon layer of intensity, building to a climax and then dropping off, while maybe not as pronounced as some bands we've featured and reviewed in the past, that overall style still seems prominent. The vocals add a certain element of angst and heavy emotion to each track as well, allowing the music to carry it direct to the listener's soul, driven home by the intense mix of guitars, keys and percussions, building up and dropping off and then doing it all over again.
All of the tracks do a great job portraying the heavy emotion of the lyrics, but there are a few favorites that stand out as with about any album. "Oakland Mountain High" gets the adrenaline rushing as the empathetic emotions start to kick in as everyone can relate with the longing for a long-lost favorite place as a youth, or favorite place to visit as we get older, maybe one that gets us away from the daily grind. "Boys of Distortion" is something of an anthem for shoegaze fans and a bit later we have "At Least Rock & Roll Won't Leave a Hole In My Back" which much like the title implies, is a great anthem for a love of rock and roll in all it's many forms. This latter piece really brings out the keyboards for a solid new wave sound, which is a great mix with the tenor-like soft male vocals. After building gradually to a breath-taking climax, they set the pace for the next few pieces which are definite favorites from this album. "Idiot Dreaming" as previously mentioned is driving and upbeat and reaches a great climax and is in many ways a climax for the album before dropping off to the somber, ethereal piece "A New Dawn Fades, A New Dawn Waits". This is another favorite mostly just for it's dreamy, ethereal elements letting the listener drift off... the addition of the samples from The Outsiders
movie is a nice touch as well. This fades directly into "Roads Again" which is a highlight and climax for the album for me. The driving beats are dance-friendly while the layers of guitars and keyboards really make for a powerful anthem, hard to describe, but the emotions, the cold-chills all come rushing in as the music builds and builds to a powerful crescendo. This would seem to be a perfect finale to the album, but they do even better by presenting the somber, dreamy piece, appropriately given the title of the album "Dream on Dreamy". With that title, there really isn't anything more that needs to be said.
There you have it, another great album that will fit perfectly with any new wave or shoegaze fan's collection, coming together nearly perfectly across the full 53 minutes of excellent music. Don't hesitate to pick up this album, we have here a really great work that people should really appreciate.
Label: AF Music