We Are A Curse is out now.
Here at Overblown we love music that is emotive but subtle, and sweet harmonies. On their debut album We Are A Curse, Brooklyn’s dream pop duo The Dream Eaters can do both with absolute aplomb. The vocals of Jake Zavracky and Elizabeth LeBaron interweave with such perfection it is as if they emanate from the same body.
On top of this, the duo have a knack for knocking out a chorus that seems familiar without being trite, and to imbue their laid back dream pop sound with a gentle fist in the air soar.
Luckily, we had the chance to chat with the band about We Are A Curse. Expect some politics, struggles to hold on to reality, and the mechanics of relationships.
1. Dead on the Inside
We felt like we were taking a bit of a risk putting this song as the opening track, because it’s so moody and it builds so gradually. It’s about feeling lost, and we knew that a lot of people would be feeling that way in the wake of the 2016 election with all the nationalism going on in the US and Europe.
This song wasn’t originally supposed to go on this album; another version of it was recorded for a different project at the end of the Bush/Cheney administration and it suddenly seemed to be once again all too relevant. A few of the lyrics were rewritten and there were some other changes made to update it, and now it’s very hard for me to imagine the album without it. It’s again about wading through the aftermath of a disaster. But it has a bit more of a positive spin than Dead on the Inside in the chorus, a sort of “we’re not going to let them get us down” anthemic feeling.
‘Dots’ is meant to comfort a depressed friend. It’s the most personal song on the album for me. It’s a very emotional song for us to play live, we don’t do it very often, (it’s also little too quiet to pull off in loud clubs.)
4. Astral Asshole
This is again about a feeling of being out at sea, of looking back at how things unfolded and wondering how things got away from you. I’m quite a bit older than Elizabeth, and I often feel like the ancient astronaut who keeps floating further away from reality. As the song builds at the end, it sounds sort of like you’re being sucked into a void.
5. Sugar Coma
‘Sugar Coma’ is a plea to a lover for comfort. I’m very pessimistic and I constantly think the world is about to end, so sometimes you need someone to tell you it’s all going to be alright. I know most people probably wouldn’t find this lyric funny, but I think it’s so overwrought that it’s almost comical. But hopefully not in a way that minimizes it.
6. So Heavy
The lyrics of ‘So Heavy’ were co-written by my friend Julien Levy. He has a similar bleak take on things. The song is about trading one pain, the pain of not being loved, for another – the pain caused by the mechanics of relationships.
7. Almost Afraid
This lyric was written completely by Julien. I think I had asked him for something surreal, and he came back with this, which fits perfectly. There’s so many lines I really love in this song – “at the edge of sleep like a fading star/like a stillborn heart”. It means something to me that I’m not even sure Julien intended; I think of it as dragging a lover to enter into a quagmire with you.
8. Plastic Priestess
‘Plastic Priestess’ was written about a downstairs neighbor I had – she could be very sweet but she’d often get drunk and go out to the sidewalk and start yelling at people and she was very pious. She was a great example of the kind of rampant evangelism that requires everyone else to not do the very thing that she was always doing. She was by far the loudest person on the block and she was constantly complaining about how much noise everyone else was making. The “keeping thoughts that are killing you inside your head” is about that type of repression leads some people to hurt themselves and become alcoholics and addicts.
9. We Are A Curse
This song was originally meant to be the opening track; the opening salvo – it’s about feeling like we always do the wrong things when it would be much easier and much less harmful to do the right things.
10. Brazil Song
This is another Julien lyric, it’s this feeling that a lot of people have after a breakup, where, in their heartache, they imagine the other person living a fairy tale existence. In this case his lover has gone off to live in Brazil while he feels trapped in a dark place – “find the rising sun/leave me where there’s none/you have found your way to summer’s endless day”.
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