We The Dreamers release EP
The seven songs on We The Dreamers’ latest EP, headlined by its first single “Time”, are a testament to what a talented duo can accomplish with minimal backing. This is a band that doesn’t lay on a lot of unnecessary instrumentation. The guiding instruments on this set are keyboards of various ilk, synthesizers, voice, and guitar and We The Dreamers do a superb job of showing off various ways they can bring those elements in accord with one another. The guitar work cops a familiar sound, but We The Dreamers use Ethan Rose’s electric and acoustic playing in inventive ways that further enhance the electronic sheen percolating around nearly every song. This is a duo that will never confine themselves to a narrow line of attack. We The Dreamers, instead, are an artistic unit with a nearly boundless mandate to follow their Muse wherever she may lead them.
“Crystal” is a memorable opening to the release. Much like the title, the song has extraordinary musical and vocal delicacy, but there’s an equal amount of strength in the presentation. Wilken’s vocal sounds emphatic on every syllable and has a clear shape despite its relatively lilting melodic bent. The tempo picks up some on the song “Parasol”. This is a much more outright poppy effort, but it never goes too far in that direction. Its dream-like qualities provide nice ballast against it ever becoming too commercial and the vocal further ties it to the earth. The lyrical content mixes concrete and general imagery in a compelling way that quantifiably makes this song about something for those who care to hear, but leaves listeners room to form their own impression of its message. “Strawberry Dream” has some pop aspects, but it’s largely an effervescent pop gem mixing acoustic and electric guitar with artfully arranged splashes of electronica. Ethan Rose’s talent for invoking a slew of voices through his guitar playing isn’t something you can teach – it is a natural expression of his innermost self and easily connects with listeners.
Few songs on this release better represent their wealth of musical ideas like the song “Wiser”. It starts off with a somewhat spartan arrangement before it expands and contracts in a number of ways, gathering musical intensity along the way and dispersing it, before reaching a satisfying conclusion. The vocals are reliant on Wilken’s voice and a number of harmonies and multi-tracked parts. These passages are orchestrated with considerable skill. The penultimate track on the EP “Words” is pure singer/songwriter material and has impressive intimacy down to the count in that opens the recording. The way his vocals and guitar work are miked encourages the feeling of intimacy and helps the song get over with listeners. The EP’s single “Time” is reminiscent of the earlier track “Wiser” in the way it incorporates a basketful of musical turns without ever sounding like it’s trying too hard or doing too much. There’s an internal logic to the duo’s songwriting that reaches its zenith with this cut. Few debuts in any genre will have the lasting impact of We the Dreamers’ first studio effort.