'Primrose Path'- Dream State / Turned Up Louder
With mental health and addiction being at the forefront of life for many young people, Dream State’s debut album, 'Primrose Path', could not have come at a better time. The album acts as a potent reflection of darker times in the band’s lives, but is a reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel and not everything has to end in desperation. Lead vocalist, CJ has recently opened up about her struggle with drug addiction, and during her interview on BBC Radio 1’s Newsbeat she revealed that creating music and performing with the band has helped her immensely to overcome this hurdle. CJ has emerged healthier and happier and the music on the album is definitely something to take hope from. 'Primrose Path' is all about creating music that can reach out and help people, and this particularly comes across in CJ’s poignant monologues. Dream State have experimented with incorporating electronic sounds as well as more ethereal elements in to 'Primrose Path', and it’s safe to say, it does not disappoint!
The first single to be released from Primrose Path was 'Hand in Hand'. The passionate vocals and heavy rock influence make it a very memorable track, along with ideas of getting better and “fighting for our lives”, it paved the way perfectly for the rest of the album. The piercing screams and intense vocals are continued on the track 'I Feel It Too', accompanied by a powerful, softly spoken monologue, this track is an emotional rollercoaster! At 5 minutes, this is one of the longer tracks on the album and is a great way to conclude the debut. When discussing this song CJ confessed: “That song terrifies me”, potentially due to the intensity of the emotions explored during the writing process.
Lyrically, Dream State have really zoned in on issues relating to social media, alcohol and drugs in this follow up to the Recovery EP. This is reflected in the thought-provoking single, 'Open Windows', in which the band focus on the social withdrawal brought about by social media, causing us to become disconnected from each other while living in such a media saturated society. This idea of falseness and struggling to keep in the loop of reality is reiterated on the track 'Made Up Smile' which sets the tone for the rest of the album. This track kickstarts Primrose Path with a gradual build up in to heavy drum beats that make it difficult for you to keep still! The pleading vocals give a slightly darker tone to the track but are reflective of CJ’s hunger for people to be real and open.
'Twenty Letters' is a particularly prominent track on the album. With its delicate intro that bursts in to a cacophony of intense guitar and drum beats after the repetition of the lyric “I’m done”, it is seen by the band as a stand out song. It hits at both ends of the spectrum with silky vocals to fierce screams, it is the definition of a feel-good song. The changes in tone throughout the track are reflective of the positive steps made by the band and carry a sense of hopefulness. 'Primrose' is quite the contrast to the this track, it has elements of electric with vocal effects that give new levels of depth to the intro. The second verse throws in a bit of a curveball with the sound appearing to take on almost metal elements, similar to in 'Are You Ready To Live', which is demonstrative of the incredible musical development of Dream State and how dynamic CJ’s vocals are.
As the band's frontwoman, you grow very accustomed to CJ’s vocals throughout the album, however a welcomed change is brought about in 'Chapters', where the vocals of guitarist Rhys Wilcox can be heard. The track is a massive contrast from its predecessor 'Out Of The Blue' where instead of tickling with heavier rock, a much more serene sound is explored. This adds a new dimension to the album and edges towards a slightly more pop-punk feel that has only really been touched on earlier in the bands career. The presence of a male monologue brings in the idea that male suffering is just as relevant, and that the band has been a cathartic experience for all members.
The overall message and feel of the album is one of positivity and hope for the future regardless of your current situation. 'Primrose Path' is a statement of intent about recovery and is reflective of not only the band’s struggles but also of the struggles of many other people living in this social climate. The passion and ferocity of the tracks makes it an engaging and adrenalizing listen and is representative of the plethora of life changes between the recording and the release of the album. CJ said: “It’s not easy for any living creature in this world, it’s a battle for everyone, but it’s amazing what flowers can bloom at the end of it.” Perhaps a primrose path?
'Primrose Path' is due for release on October 18th via UNFD.
Check out the video for their latest single, 'Open Windows', below:
Dream State will head out on a UK headline tour in October and November with support from support from Normandie. Dates can be found below:
27th - Glasgow - Cat house 28th - Manchester - Club Academy 29th - Birmingham - Asylum 30th - Bournemouth - Old Fire Station
1st - Swansea - Sin City 2nd - London - ULU