In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Like Some Dream” Ft. J.I.D — Sirens of Lesbos
How We Found It
“Like Some Dream” drifted in our SubmitHub inbox with plenty of respect to its namesake. Sirens of Lesbos’ sonic ingredients in electronic, dance, choir and instrumental music are as varied, diverse and compelling as the members’ historical backgrounds ranging from families of political refugees to freedom fighters. Switzerland provided a melting pot for the group to nurture their sprawling music and subtle mystique. An early career breakout saw the group sign a record deal with Epic/ Sony that they would soon pull out of in favor of more passionate musical exploits.
This particularly dreamy single of their new album, Sol, is the result of a collaboration between the Swiss artists and Dreamville’s producer Christo and emcee J.I.D. From my own experience writing about J.I.D it’s easy to tell that the pair is one of my favorite duos in hip hop and I was lulled into the unbelievably perfect sonic landscape that resulted from this collaboration.
Why We Like It
“Like Some Dream” rolls in gently like a cloud off a cold Northeastern bay. The air is damp and carries a slightly frigid sting — the kind that makes you pull a jacket tight and increase your stride to a pace as brisk as the night air. The mist of the crashing surf slowly encompasses the listener walking alone along the lonely shoreline. As the chorus echoes through, splashes of color penetrate the dense block of grey air like the searching beacon of a nearby lighthouse. Slowly the immediate space begins to clear as shapes become visible. “Baby come a little closer, come and heal my soul,” the air has parted to reveal J.I.D, hand on a mic, standing on the beach accompanied by a solemn violin and choir of spirits. All around them the wall of fog remains swirling and impenetrable while the Swiss band and East Atlanta Playboy harmonize away into the grey abyss like the lingering imprint of a beautifully mystique dream to be quickly forgotten.
Dreamlike — a description of sound that is abstractly understood if not slightly over-used, and yet it’s an irreplaceable quality of all art that bears the description. Many many years ago, dreams were the first indication to early humans in the separation of body and soul. Even in matters of the spirit, humans have always been scientists. In waking life we experience consciousness and environmental stimuli, a quandary best summarized by René Descartes: “I think, therefore I am.” But even in states of rest, when cut off from physical stimuli our being still floats disconnected from our corporeal lives. Shamanic cultures throughout history have tied the experience of existing without body to the spirit world and mimicked dream-states through altered states of consciousness traditionally brought on by rituals of music. In this way, music has been tied to our spirits for as long as we’ve wondered about the fleeting shapes and lost narratives of our dreams.
Sirens of Lesbos produce a dreamlike quality to their music through reverberating strings, hints of quiet chimes, the build of electronic sounds and layers of wispy vocals. The chorus that kicks off the track is a gentle introduction to the song that settles the listener quickly into the smooth harmony between J.I.D and Nabyla with minimalist instrumental touches. Even as J.I.D’s verse emerges from the fog, the production remains subtle beneath his uniquely accented singing voice. It’s in the space between the vocals that the instrumental really steals the attention.
Like a true dream, there’s never a rush for “Like Some Dream” to progress. Wherever the artists have left space for the instrumental it uses the opportunity to flourish and grow like a living thing. The small touches build piece by piece easily unnoticed as the dream shifts and slides, anchored only by the familiar chorus that seems to sing through the spirit world and reach the listener on the other side. While I was first hooked by the beautiful harmonies and the floating verses, it’s this living, breathing quality that so captures the essence of a dream. It’s only possible to experience the full ocean of the song while wrapped in its waves. As it gently fades, the wondrous mist rolls away, the spirit returns to the body and the secrets reserve themselves only for the next play.
From Sirens of Lesbos
We sent the instrumental to [J.I.D’s producer] Christo in 2018. A few months later he sent it back with vocals of J.I.D — a verse and a chorus. We were blown away, it was just beautiful. We wrote a second verse, doubled the chorus and sent it back. That’s it. J.I.D is such a perfect fit because he co-created the DNA of the song, he’s not just a guest on “Like Some Dream.”” – Sirens of Lesbos for CentralSauce
More From Sirens of Lesbos
“Like Some Dream” might be a standout cut from Sirens of Lesbos’ new album Sol, but the dreamlike atmosphere of the song is even better within the album’s sonic context. Stream the album, follow the band on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and check out their website to stay up to date with future releases.
More to Discover
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