Last month, I listened to a presentation about stratospheric research. Possibly serendipitous, I began listening to somesurprises’ Serious Dreams (out now on the mysteriously grand Eiderdown Records) shortly after my space travel curiosities were becoming terrifyingly more realistic.
Serious Dreams is ripe with examples of weighted ambience and feather dropping speeds. It’s a slow decent into a Jell-O like fog and color blurred fantasy. “Mayor Skipped Town/SRS DRMS” starts the drifting within a cathedral of sound and weight. Leader Natasha El-Sergany’s vocals drip and swirl into a densely druggy feast. “Late July”sounds like it was birthed inside a skylight cave; bleak and wet, yet warmed by sunbeams streaking within. “All My Failures” sandwiches all slowcore’s dark, delicate steps and shoegaze’s hazy incantations and smears the two into a floating force, rising further and further into the ether. The calming “Low on Sleep” is arguably a beautiful song to, in fact, fall asleep to. Band mate Josh Medina’s repetitive guitar echoes can certainly fill a room and the tone is just about the most bliss enduring sound you can blanket yourself in.
The album ends with the aptly named, “21st Century Cigarette.” This is a deeply meandering piece, flubbing from one wall to the next. The structure is riddled with holes, which works deceptively well; the smoke circulates with a sense of purpose, escaping tightly constrained ideas of what song structures can and can’t be. All the space El-Sergany and Medina create lead to hidden chambers. BE PRESENT. The thick, wet washed brushed strokes, will dry on their own; avoid rushing the drying effect.
Serious Dreams could be a soundtrack for future civilian stratosphere travels considering the endless amount of wandering found from beginning to end. El-Sergany weaves intensely sonic spells through wanderlust and summoned words, while Medina’s dampened guitars are a woozy treat for those traveling on the astral plane. But something about Serious Dreams is so intentionally grounded to the world around us; I think I will prefer it with my feet on the ground.