Dreamkid’s lead single ‘Hearts Don’t Beat the Same When They’re Hurting’, accompanied by a smashing 80s-infused music video, wowed the retrowave community with his sound reminiscent of the undoubted darlings of the scene, The Midnight.
Whilst Hollywood films like Drive (2011 - Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan) had many embrace the retro electronic and interchangeable genre of retrowave/synthwave, it is The Midnight’s sold-out show at London’s 5000-capacity Brixton Academy on 7th May this year which proves there’s no end in sight to the penchant for the movement.
Monikered as Dreamkid, the self-reliant artist Ryan Morris wrote, produced, engineered and played all the instrumentation on the album. Together with Pete Maher, the UK’s No1 independent mastering engineer (U2, Peaky Blinders, The Pixies, The Rolling Stones), the album tracks pop with a production quality not often seen in the DIY production scene of synthwave. There’s a smorgasbord of menacing retro electro instrumentals, screaming guitar solos and his own brand of vocal driven emo-synthpop.
Morris succeeds in fusing genres with life experiences and his intuition to create an album that’s intentionally designed and built to evoke certain nostalgic feelings. In the closing track ‘Parents’, which has the most meaning to the producer, he explains “I could clearly remember my mom coming to me in pre-school and telling me that she had to go away for a while, my dad basically got custody of us. I remember going back on the playing field being confused and sad. It’s a song about divorce and how your parents are not superheroes but humans just like all of us, trying their best.”
Instrumentals like ‘Officewave’ never stray far from the Mitch Murder-esque stylings of retrowave of old. “Definitely the song that I wrote the quickest on this album - I bought the Waves Bass Slapper plugin and that was the very first part that I wrote using it. I based the concept off 80s thrillers with plots in offices, think fight scenes, PC computers, Wall Street etc. I threw the whole song together in 3 hours and I think it might very much end up being a fan favourite.”
Tracks like ‘The Fugitive’ seamlessly deliver cinematic movie-theme inspired soundtracks. “Based off The Fugitive movie with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones. I wanted to create a smooth classic synthwave song with the idea of a cop chasing a runaway fugitive. I found the sample of the cop talking and thought it was a perfect fit, ‘Everybody’s gonna be on your tail, from 5 o'clock until the day you die’.”
Dreamkid is available across all digital music stores as well as physical options on Bandcamp, which include a limited-edition Pacific Blue/Bubblegum Pink Cassette and 4-page Digipak CD with Lyric booklet.
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