Music

Meet Dreamer Boy: the bridge between ’70s psychedelia and contemporary, lo-fi pop

Inspired by a handful of music’s greatest experimentalists, Crybaby from Nashville’s newest talent Dreamer Boy is a trippy feast for the senses.

Though Nashville and its surrounds have enjoyed one of the richest and most diverse music scenes in the world since, well, forever, the city is still mostly name-dropped for its contributions to country and folk. It’s a space that’s ripe for subversion, and artists such as Miley Cyrus, Kesha, or Sooccer Mommy who’ve taken aspects of the Nashville spirit and warped it into something more contemporary have by far been the most interesting names to come out of the city in recent years.

Originally from the West Coast but now based in Music City, Dreamer Boy is a brand new name adding a brand new sound to that rich, if quite single-minded, history. Self-labelled as “cowboy pop”,  his music is misty and evocative; lo-fi hits made for long road trips in American muscle cars.

The new single from Dreamer Boy, Crybaby, was inspired less by Johnny Cash or Dolly Parton and more by George Harrison, David Bowie, and a particularly life-changing day spent indulging in psychedelics.

“This song is about friendships, courage, and love,” he says. “I wrote it after a psychedelic experience that led to an outpouring of emotions that were bottled up for a long time. This song is meant to be that release.”

Both the sounds of the single and the accompanying visual – directed by Michael Rees – play into the song’s lysergic origins. Washy ambient tones sit beneath some faded-out strumming as Dreamer Boy drones his lyrics, painting a vivid story of someone leaving his life and the emotional toll it took.

The music video is drenched in colour, packing blue-screen shots straight out of the ’70s alongside more contemporary studio footage. Altogether the picture is one of Dreamer Boy drifting through a shifting mindspace, confronting his ego, unpacking his experiences amongst a kaleidoscope of emotion.

Crybaby isn’t 2020’s first whisper from Dreamer Boy, either. In September he dropped Know You, labelled ALL THE WAYS 001 on various channels. Crybaby bears a similarly mysterious subtitle, ALL THE WAYS 002, so it’s far to say there’s more to come – and very soon – from this rising Nashville talent.

Crybaby is out now via slowplay / Caroline Australia. Stream or purchase your copy here.