We Are A Curse – The Dream Eaters
The Dream Eaters have introduced themselves to the indie scene with their April 2017 release We are a Curse. It is a record that melds despondent, echoing vocals, with gently finger-picked guitars and at times dissonant electronic background noise to create a pensive, lullaby-like experience for the listener.
The album begins with a track titled “Dead on the Inside.” Immediately, the duo is established as musically simple, with more complexity in the vocal harmonies – soft childlike cooings of Elizabeth LeBaron paired with the androgynous voice of Jack Zavraky. You can hear the dreamy quality that earns the band their name, as well as influences – both intentional and unintentional, ranging from Bon Iver to Lorde to the Silversun Pickups. There are distant, reminiscing lyrics in a low-fi environment and the result is something that certain listeners will enjoy.
As the album rolls into the second song, “Neandrathals,” a little more of the energy and drive I was craving became present. There are darker electronic elements there, along with dissonant yet joyful keys. LeBaron certainly has a pretty voice – very young, warbly, and on trend right now. It has a theatrical quality that could prove useful- The Dream Eaters music could easily narrate the right emotional television or movie scene.
“Dots,” “Astral Atmosphere,” and “So Heavy” all contain sad, squeaky guitars deeply reminiscent of the early 2000s hipster indie scene – artists like Dashboard Confessional, Death Cab for Cutie, and Iron & Wine, who were also characterized by nostalgic, pained, and folksy bedroom strumming. The repeated lyric, “so lost,” describes the feeling well. The duo plays somewhere between feelings of amnesia and aphasia. Their vibe is so distant and haunting it could be mistaken for emotionless, but I think an increase in production quality and a little experience will bring more passion to their sound over time.
We Are a Curse is a record where songs seem to wash into one another like passing waves. The sadder tracks like “So Heavy” flow naturally into sing-songy, almost creepy tracks like “Sugar Coma,” “Plastic Priestess,” and “Almost Afraid.” LeBaron leads you through empty hallways and echoing rooms with nursery rhyme vocals and tearful cracking voices. Their sound plays into recent trends and it is not surprising that the young pair is from Brooklyn, a place where shoegazing hipsters have thrived for years.
The second to last and title track “We are a Curse” is soft but not without a little grit and edge. It is not as intense as Lana Del Rey or Lorde, though stylistically Le Baron is similar to the two. Each track leaves a little power to be desired on its own, but the album as a whole is peaceful and misty in a pleasantly hypnotizing way. As it ends on the heartfelt “Brazil Song,” the listener is left in a hazy, enchanted state.
The Dream Eaters are like a pair of modern sirens, who call you in with their song and leave you in a mystical, haunting, and peaceful place. Though they are musically simple and could have a little more production without losing their raw emotion, The Dream Eaters have made a ripple in the pool of their scene.
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