Album Review: Dream State – Primrose Path (2019)

It’s finally here (ok, it arrived last week, but it felt like it took YEARS to arrive). Dream State’s debut album has landed. And it’s worth a listen.

Album cover of ‘Primrose Path’

I only got into this band after I bought a ticket to see them in Birmingham for their headline tour. The show is next week, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great night. You don’t get the recognition Dream State have had without being good live. Annie Mac premiered their track ‘Twenty Letters’ live on her Radio 1 show a couple of weeks ago. Even Grimes (yes, that Grimes) follows them on Twitter – I’m just imaging a collaboration…….. back to Earth. We don’t yet deserve this (although it would be amazing).

So how did I discover Dream State? My current favourite band are Normandie, and I went to see them live back in March. On Instagram they posted about being the support act for Dream State. I instantly bought the tickets to go (having previously toured with Hands Like Houses, Sun Arcana and Led By Lanterns, I just knew Dream State would be great).

And then I listened to the half-title track, Primrose. It is possibly one of my favourite releases of 2019. It combines both slightly gothic elements with amazing guitar, great electronic elements and lyrics which are so relatable they must be aimed directly for me. Maybe I’m biased because it’s the first song I heard from Dream State, but it truly is the stand out single from the album.

The album is heavier rock than I would normally listen to, admittedly. But that just makes it even better; singer CJ’s voice pierces through and adds something unique to the band’s sound. It feels like she is speaking to you as she sings. The emotion is real, and it makes the messages she says impactful. Take the album’s finale, ‘I Feel It Too’, features a monologue which is deeply from the heart. To me, an outsider, it feels like she is anguishing about someone who takes drugs to the point where it is putting them severely in danger, and she’s trying desperately to help them out of the hole into which they have descended. But at the end of the day, she feels powerless, and she feels like she is also being pulled into the lifestyle.

It must be said that I haven’t the track-by-track video where they go through each song and detail its meaning. I don’t watch them, at least at first, because I don’t like them to cloud my judgement of the music. But I did watch this video which CJ gave to BBC Newsbeat a few weeks ago:

It makes you appreciate just how much this band went through to get where they are today. It makes me feel so happy that they have got to this good place, where their debut album has received nothing but acclaim and they now have a growing fanbase. Often, it’s hard for music to be great unless the creators have really gone through some shit and produced it as a result. This is brilliant.

Dream State are exceptionally talented. As much as I would love to say something about them representing the independent rock music scene of the UK, it would be understating them. They are leading it. Primrose Path is one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard: things can surely only get even better.

  • Dream State’s debut album, ‘Primrose Path’, was released on October 18. It can be bought from all major music retailers, and streamed on all major platforms.
  • Follow the band on twitter (@DreamStateUK), Instagram (@dreamstateuk) and Facebook (DREAM STATE)
  • There may still be tickets for their upcoming tour, which begins this Sunday! Check for information.

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