I looked at the stars and said, I said “Don’t go away”

As we swing towards Christmas, I find myself beginning to look forward to the bread and butter task of the Blogger of compiling his end of year lists. You may remember that last year, after having not been arsed previously, I found myself getting a bit of a taste for these things once I started. I shall endeavour to get stuck in again this year…

Dreamend

And here’s a candidate for the hotly contested Best Records of the Year list, a rather quirky, gruesome outing, called So I Ate Myself Bite by Bite by Dreamend.

Dreamend is the nom de plume of one Ryan Graveface, who is actually one of the members of (possibly defunct?) Black Moth Super Rainbow and proprietor of his own Graveface Records. I bought the Dandelion Gum record by BMSR, and quite liked it at the time, but for the life of me I would never have linked it with this new record by Dreamend.

Whereas Dandelion Gum is all sweeping, electronic goofiness in the style of Air or Goldfrapp, this record has a much rootsier sound, centring on the insistent probings of Graveface’s banjo. As well as that, there are proper drummers, assorted whistle-blowers and all manner of stringed beasties.

The words come from a different, darker place too. Gone are the spacey, electronically obscured (and presumably obscure) vocals of BMSR, and in their place are lucid, open and in places rather unpleasant lyrics, sung urgently and with an uncomfortable clarity. The songs form a progression, following a rather needy and intense individual who kills his lover and embraces the guilt and regret his actions lead to. Love, obsession, murder, guilt – it’s all very Dostoevsky… But in spite of that, the whole record breezes along with a deceptive lightness that I rather enjoyed.

You can snag four tracks by Dreamend here, but here’s “Magnesium Light from the record:

Graveface have also done a bit of job on the vinyl release of the album, not only producing a picture disc, but also including in the packaging some sort of zoetrope device to allow you to sample the early Victorian experience (?). Actually, it’s rather cool in a geeky sort of way, as you can see by watching this:

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Seven Great New Records of 2010 « Partly Porpoise

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