Dreams are Like Water is a new trio from Wellington, New Zealand, whose début EP, A Sea-Spell, is available now 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”, and “a sound evoking a mix between goth acts like Skeletal Family and the dream pop of Cocteau Twins”.
Wellington post-punk veteran, Mike Hollywood at Everythingsgonegreen, writes, “Of all the local debut releases I’ve been exposed to over the past couple of years, few have made as big a first impression (on me) as A Sea-Spell, the highly polished first outing for Wellington three-piece Dreams are Like Water… specialising in the sort of dark post-punk your reviewer reserves a special fondness for… it’s virtually impossible to listen to the EP… without spontaneous recall of early Cure, Kaleidoscope-era Siouxsie, All About Eveor the ethereal dark beauty of the Cocteau Twins’ best work.”
Rocknerd.co.uk’s David Gerard states, succinctly, “This EP sounds so gorgeous. You need to give it a spin.”
Named for a song by This Mortal Coil, Dreams are Like Water also take stylistic cues from Cranes, Anita Lane/Mick Harvey and Shelleyan Orphan, punctuated by the darker, more visceral sounds of Xmal Deutschland 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. Funny that.”
Pictured: Rosebud Garland, Dreams are Like Water
Dreams are Like Water was conceived as a low-key recording project; a vehicle for vocalist and novice musician Rosebud Garland 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. Aside from their first few practices recorded on a phone, the four songs contained on A Sea-Spell EP 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.
Jamie, Rosebud, Michel
Earlier in August, however, just moments after previewing the single edit 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 US specialty label Vesper Records days later, vastly altering the immediate horizons for the project.
Beautifully packaged in 4-panel digipak, designed by Wellington artist Isobel Joy Te Aho-White of Izzy Joy Art, and “lovingly mixed and produced by Bryan Tabuteau (Moliere Recording)”, the EP is available now from:
Physical release on Vesper Records (# VSPR-6) starts shipping: 1 September 2017
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.
Dreams are Like Water:
Rosebud Garland – voices, keys/piano, bass
Michel Rowland – guitars, bass, voices, programming
Jamie Scott Palmer – synths/keys, guitars, miscellany