Wild Arrows – Dreamlike Dream

Wild Arrows
Dreamlike Dream
2018
Black Vinyl

Dreamlike Dream, the second album by Brooklyn duo Wild Arrows pushes further into the realm of New Wave and Shoegaze than the band’s debut release Tell Everyone, which throughout, had an almost menacing Post-Punk angst lying just below the surface. Shiori Takenoshita’s departure from the band to return to Japan resulted in Mike Law joining forces with Yasmin Reshamwala on this album which at times is reminiscent of early New Order and OMD (specifically “Alphabet Girl”).

Opening track “Dark Me” starts with airy waves of synth and crisp electronic percussion followed by “Breathe Through” which is the closest to full-on Shoegaze the band gets without burying Law’s vocals, which is important because, despite the more upbeat music of Dreamlike Dream, the lyrics still contain darker themes that we loved on Tell Everyone.


The title track, a fast favourite that highlights Reshamwala’s vocals, is a moody song that pulses and hums electronically while its momentum slowly builds and slows again. The 50s-esque jangle guitar strum is reverb-drenched and haunting throughout. It is quickly chased by “Oh-H”, a song that would complement an Arcade Fire album, when Arcade Fire were at their best (Funeral, Neon Bible) and if the band ever delved in Dream Pop territories.


Closing out Dreamlike Dream is “Seahorse/Hummingbird”, a hymn-like soundscape complete with angelic horns that Robert Smith would approve of, and “Dead Ends” to complete the 9-song journey. Some songs immediately grab and don’t let go (“Breathe Through”, “Dreamlike Dream”) whereas others need to simmer, their deep flavours leeching out over time (“Deceiver”, “Dark Me”). But like all great music, the time invested in listening will pay off.

Dave MacIntyre

Wild Arrows – Tell Everyone

Wild Arrows
Tell Everyone
2014
Black Vinyl (Gotta Groove Records)

Wild Arrows, the Brooklyn Alternative/Dream-Pop duo once consisting of Mike Law (vocals and other instruments) and Shiori Takenoshita (drums) released Tell Everyone in 2014, an album that was planned for release two years earlier, but had been cut dead by the devastating arrival of Hurricane Sandy. The band’s instruments, recording equipment, the studio itself, and all the countless hours of time invested in the album were wiped out by the ruthless winds and rain. Amazingly, Law and Takenoshita persevered and overcame these overwhelming obstacles to ensure Tell Everything saw the light of day.

It’s an interesting and complex album both lyrically and sonically. Musically, the album floats in and around Alternative, Post-Punk, New Wave, Dream Pop and even Psych-Rock aesthetics without losing any cohesiveness. Album opener “Ruiner” sets the dark lyrical tone that is consistent throughout the entire record.

 

Despite the obvious angst in both the lyrics and Law’s vocals, they are offset and complimented by the warm jangle of guitars and background wash of synths. Takenoshita’s drumming is a driving force throughout, adding yet another layer of contrast to the warmer sounds coming from Law’s instruments that are unrushed despite the urgency of the percussion.

 

Without knowing the backstory of how the album came to be, it’s still perceptible upon listening that Tell Everyone was a labour of love. There is care, purpose, and meaning infused into the record that bears repeat listening sessions to fully appreciate.

Stand-out songs:  “Ruiner” “Hey Liar”, “All Of You”, “Disease”

(We will soon follow this piece up with a review of the band’s newest release, Dreamlike Dream.)

Dave MacIntyre

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