The latest single from Bad Dream Fancy Dress, out on the 4th May, and another from this damn lockdown period. Where lockdown was going to be a period to finish the ‘Bi Iconic album’ the pair got side tracked again with unplanned songs inspired with the new world order and its closeted ins and outs, Summer Rising, Inside the Algorithm and Quarentino. So an unexpected Christmas Eve kitchen debate about songs with non-gender specific reference and then on to Cats urge to write the ultimate indie goth- ‘Jolene’ song, a story of passion unrequited love and drama evolved. After a couple of humorous versions, that shall not be repeated and song titles that shall not be repeated, that very night ‘The Girl in The Barren Room’ came into the world, in a kitchen in Wales, rather than a stable in Bethlehem.
Starting from that first acoustic kitchen Jam recorded on a mobile phone, it moved to their ‘Fishtank’ Studio for the fiddly frilly dramatic stuff, Guitar rhythms and drum beats from the T Boy with a heavy dollop of strings, bass and keyboards via Cat. In just eight weeks it was passed onto our lockdown Sound engineer Gethin John (Also working on the Bi Iconic Album) to clean up and mix virtually at Hafod Mastering.
This was one of those numbers that happen quickly. Catchy, nagging, with a number of sweet counter melodies. The Girl in the Barren Room is totally unapologetic for its dark content and tongue in cheek mellow-drama. We all know one of those girls or have been part of that dreaded chain of three or watching a loved one, whether its your partner or relative or friend, being dragged back into hurdy-gurdy of a relationship… ‘Oh not again you Muppet’…and the drama it causes to all in sundry around them…but drama is addictive… and for some so is the control.
This song is laden with 80s vibe with a modern twist. Being a gal growing up with 80s music with all its glam Indie-goth and Stevie Nicks flapping around wailing beautifully if not slightly disturbed… to today’s artist influences, from the energy of ’Yeah do you want some of that?’ Blistering confrontation vibe of bands like Garbage, through to the in your face vocal deliveries of power vocalist’s like Miley Cyrus.
‘Here she comes with that look on her face’ opening line tells you this isn’t all ribbons and tassel… there’s an edge in the verses, passion in the opening chorus and finally softened up with the sweetness and drama of the end chorus to the syrup end hook line ‘The girl in the Barren Room’…its a 4 minute journey… its dark and light… its soft and hard…. its beauty and bad…. as you will find in most of Bad Dream Fancy Dress songs over the last 5 years, it hides layers of sadness, humour, truth and fantasy left there for the listener to find his or hers place in the music.
‘The Girl in The Barren Room’ is a catchy musical story that will suck you in, food for your ears to explore, and will leave you subconsciously being nagged by that annoying ear worm… ‘Here she comes, the girl in the Barren room’
Bad Dream Fancy Dress: History
Originally formed in 1988, Bad Dream Fancy Dress had a hit single with Curry Crazy on the seminal El Record label via Cherry Red. Quick success via John Peel, NME and Melody Maker lead the band into the studio to make the legendary ‘Choir Boys Gas’ Album. The must have vinyl for music anoraks and eccentrics and still a must sort after collectable essential. Bad Dream Fancy Dress burned bright, made a lot of noise and then all headed in different directions by the 90’s.
However with the creation of Facebook a small group of hardcore Bad Dream Fancy Dress fans started a group that soon became the first place stop for El Record devotees. The bands lead singer Cat Rees came across the group and agreed to record an Xmas song for the fans (By way of thanks) and George Michael’s Last Xmas was created and became the first You Tube hit.
Collaborating with her partner (Former Producer/Guitarist: Foreheads in a Fishtank) ideas for a second Album started to form. But as always events took over control of its creation. The band were flooded in 2013 leaving them without a recording studio and Cat’s health took a turn for the worse being diagnosed with genetic arthritis, a series of major operations made progress on the album slow. Laying down the final vocal to ‘Morpheus’ in 2017 shortly before her double hip replacement, the ‘Space Goddess’ album was finally completed and released in 2018.
Finding their voice through ‘Space Goddess’ and with Cat’s health firmly on the mend, Bad Dream Fancy Dress have since been working on a second Album ‘Bi Iconic’ with plans to perform live for the first time. The new sound is more daring. A groundbreaking mixture of 70’s Funk, 80‘s Punk, 90’s house and Indie Pop. Shameless innuendo, syncopated counter rhythms and bittersweet melodies, all mixed with a hardcore commercial slap in the face. ‘Bi Iconic’ is a blend of Bad Dreams and sugary-coated Fancy Dress, tipping to the bands past while always looking to Bad Dream Fancy Dress future. Due for release in 2021, you can follow its progress at baddreamfancydress.com
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