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Album Premiere: A Sea-Spell EP by Dreams are Like Water

Dreams are Like Water
31 August 2017

Dreams are Like Water; Photo courtesy of Dreams are Like Water

Dreams are Like Water is a new trio from Wellington, New Zealand, whose debut EP, A Sea-Spell, is forthcoming from Californian independent Vesper Records. The label describes the band’s sound as “a varied but cohesive mix of post-punk, wave, and ethereal gaze.”

Named for a song by This Mortal Coil, Dreams are Like Water take stylistic cues from early Cocteau Twins, Disintegration -era Cure, Cranes, Anita Lane / Mick Harvey, and Shelleyan Orphan, punctuated by the darker, more visceral sounds of Xmal Deutschland, John McGeoch -era Banshees, and Mephisto Walz, among others. In their first interview, the band described the moody blend of influences as “Music that wistful, dejected teenagers listened to in the eighties.”

Dreams are Like Water was conceived as a low-key recording project; a vehicle for vocalist and novice musician Rosebud Garland (vocals, keyboads, bass) to set words and song ideas to music, with her partner Michel Rowland (Disjecta Membra) and their friend Jamie Scott Palmer (The Empty’s Response) sharing various instrumental roles. Rowland usually plays guitars, bass, and programming and additional vocals, while Palmer plays synths/keyboards, guitars, and other noises. Aside from their first few practices recorded on a phone, the four songs contained on A Sea-Spell are the group’s first ever recordings together. They had planned to share the EP with friends as a free download, and had no particular ambitions for the band beyond that point.

Earlier this month, however, just moments after sharing an edited preview of the EP’s title track online, the group were fielding offers from labels in Europe and North America. A CD deal was confirmed with fledgling Californian specialty label Vesper Records days later, vastly altering the immediate horizons for the project.

A Sea-Spell was recorded in Wellington, New Zealand and produced by Bryan Tabuteau at Molière Recording, with graphic design by Isobel Joy Te Aho-White of Izzy Joy Art. The EP’s cover painting: ‘A Sea-Spell’, c.1877, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1822). Object: 1939.92, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Reproduced by kind permission, with thanks to Isabella Donadio.

The EP is available now for pre-order and download from Dreams are Like Water’s Bandcamp and Vesper Records

Digital release date (pre-orders + downloads): 19 August 2017
Physical release date (disc starts shipping): 1 September 2017