The screamo / emotional hardcore tag has been around for nearly three decades and in that time hundreds of passionate bands have played thousands of shows to anyone that would watch, from basements to DIY festival audiences. The underrated genre lived through many stages of revolution of punk and hardcore and bred artists that have fallen off more stages than most people have stood on. If there were any stages at all to begin with. The evolution of this specific style has been linear and resulted in many newer bands attempting to master it by adding more and more variations to the harsh core. In recent years, there’s been a modernist approach to the initial setup, most notably in the works presented by labels like Zegema Beach Records, Miss The Stars Records, or Through Love Records, and literally hundreds of worthy bands, that we cover here on IDIOTEQ. There’s been revisionist takes in more post rockish and experimental records like RESPIRE, YOUNG MOUNTAIN, VI SOM ÄLSKADE VARANDRA SÅ MYCKET, glorifications of more violent forms like EYELET, GILLIAN CARTER, OSTRACA, COMMUOVERE, and OAK, good old takes in recently reformed acts like CITY OF CATERPILLAR, PAGENINETYNINE or MAJORITY RULE, or more accesible mutations like TOUCHE AMORE. Yet at the core of most approaches is the notion of raw emotions and very specific feel that is not necessarily representative of other niches of heavy music. “The Distance Grows Fonder”, the debut full length from Boston based emotive hardcore / screamo act DREAMWELL is a fine example of the latter camp, with an accesible, yet very intricate, passionately written and deeply moving meditation on the subject of acceptance. We’re proud to give you the official first hearing below.
DREAMWELL‘s debut record “The Distance Grows Fonder” is being released on September 8th across all streaming services. The band will celebrate it at the upcoming record release show on October 7th, alongside a couple of great local acts worth a check: AT THE HEART OF IT, FUNERAL ATTIRE, RAINSOUND, LYMPHOMA TWINS, and REVERIES.
The band commented on the record, touching on both content and sonic sphere:
“The Distance Grows Fonder” is a record about acceptance; acceptance of self, acceptance of others, acceptance of pain, acceptance of love and relief. The record’s name comes from the experience of living painfully distanced from the ones you love, whether it be physically or emotionally, and the title track offers the same look at an experience of missing out on the lives of the ones you love. With the overarching theme in place, each track offers a window’s glance at a new consequential issue. The last song, “Blossom” is very much so the cathartic climax of the record. An alternative to the usual breakup song, it represents the overwhelming encapsulation of love and partnership. “Come closer to me” being the desperate call to feel deserving of care and through all the pain one endures, it is always possible to blossom into something worth loving.
The instrumentation is intended to be dissonant and driving, with explosive drumming that has no relent. We intended to explore some of our favorite pillars of post-rock, emotional hardcore, and black metal. We wrote two interludes for this to allow for breathing room amongst some of the chaos and heavy lyrical expressions. We wrote piano for “Closed Doors” as an afterthought after we had already finished recording it to add a sense of humanity to the latter half of the song where the listener is transported to a drifting, eerie soundscape different from most of the record. We self recorded this release to have complete control over the pacing of it. Writing from October 2016 to May 2017, we wanted to explore as many routes with this band as possible, without pigeon holing into a genre, and recording on our own was the least complicated way to do so. There is a pacing the record goes through from start to end where the song structures and styles become more complex by the end, and this is a result of us being able to gently wade into what we want to sound like and write towards.
Top photo by Clayton Trewhitt // DREAMWELL is: Ramsay Young – Vocals, Ryan Couitt – Guitar / Vocals, Connor McCullough – Guitar / Vocals, Justin Soares – Bass, Anthony Montalbano – Drums. “The Distance Grows Fonder” cover by Mikayla Rioux. Package design and cover art by Ramsay Young. Logo by Dylan Sylvester of Void House of Design and Engineering.
The band commented on the format of the release by stating:
The record is being self released. It is our very first release as a band. We were going to work with a label but decided we wanted to take our first step as a band alone. Our CD has an incredible lyric booklet we designed, we’re doing a limited run of 25 tape release with an alternative cover. We talked about doing a vinyl release, but only gauging how much there is any sort of request for it- we are writing new music already that we feel will trump this and we’d like to reserve funds for that release.