I accidentally left the four track self-titled Dreamboat EP on loop in my car while running errands all day last week. I hadn’t even noticed the songs coming back around after 15 minutes or so, because upon each listen I was experiencing something new, noticing some new element of their unique rises and falls.
This nuanced jazz folk trio just moved to town from Waco and is already impressive. Tessa Gaston is the gem of the group, with her pitch-perfect, elegant voice, both spellbinding and inspiring. In “Lantana Avenue,” Gaston’s voice recalls Regina Spektor, while in “Riverside” it draws from Joanna Newsom. Dreamboat’s sound bounced from being comparable to She and Him in “Dear Child (Optical Sunrise)” (I heard a little Newsom in that one too) then to First Aid Kit in “Father’s Mend.” They are trying out so many sounds, but each of the four songs on the EP flow eloquently into one another, creating a beautifully realized whole.
Their lyrics are lovely, sometimes edging on pop-country like, “climbing up tall buildings and sleeping in the south / keeping all the secrets in the corner of your mouth” (“Riverside”). They certainly have a strong sense of place when their folksy sound comes out in “Father’s Mend”. Their magical, rustic lyrics “learned that freedom it comes in waves / crossed our hearts and hopes to see them pray” and “the dishes in the sink will always be clean / and our sleepless nights will always be redeemed” truly struck a chord with me, giving me a solemn and sweet sense of hope and faith in the land I live in and call home.
I believe that having aesthetically interesting, effective video material is, these days, almost equally important to playing live as much as you can. The video for “Dear Child (Optical Sunrise)” consists of a single shot, circling a small old time-y theater set on a dolly track, while the band and other players moving effortlessly about in and out of position to complete a vaudevillian talent show. The members of Dreamboat are artists – inside and out. Aside from their lyrical composition and crisp sound which make them musical artists, their eye for aesthetic with this video proves they are also visual artists, and that they can excel on screen and take stage direction too.
If you didn’t catch what risk takers and mavericks these musicians are on first listen – come see them at one of their upcoming shows (they’re taking the city by storm – playing in any and every venue it seems). See Dreamboat this Saturday at Flipnotics at 6pm, and welcome them to town. I’ll eventually get around to taking the CD off repeat in my car. Maybe.
– Bailey Cool