As Dean Forever glide through their brand of lovesick, narcotised dream-pop, they manage to craft something that feels simultaneously vibrant and haunting.
Like a beach house perched up on the dunes of an isolated coastline in the middle of winter.
Adelaide duo Dean Forever spin shimmering and luxuriant slices of dream-pop that never fail to dazzle.
Earlier this year, the duo – made up of pianist Jakub Tengdahl and vocalist Kiah Lanagan – released their debut full-length self-titled album; a dreamy collection of druggy pop hooks and ghostly instrumentals.
“We were doing some songwriting together for our other project (It’s a Hoax) and we were coming up with ideas which didn’t necessarily fit the brief: lots of melody-driven ideas, songs with lots of layers and a heavy emphasis on piano,” Dean Forever say of the album.
“It ended up perfectly timed because I wanted to create some music in more of a pop direction and Jakub wanted to work more with the piano.”
Having played in various other bands together in the past, Tengdahl and Lanagan say it didn’t take long to settle on their sound.
“We both had a sense of what each other were thinking musically. I think that is why everything sounds like it belongs together because it was all from the same stream of consciousness.”
Not once throughout the album’s nine songs does it feel like only two people. Their arrangements are lush and incredibly well thought-out.
Performing live, the duo pad out their sound with a rotating roster of friends; backing vocalist Ashlee Jocks, backing vocalist Caitlyn Hearne, bassist Caspar Hawksley, drummer Conor Deery, bassist Jackson Wright, guitarist Joshua Roberts, and synth player Michael Clarke.
“We love playing with live musicians instead of using anything pre-recorded. The little touches and moments of spontaneity from the different players really make the live shows a lot of fun for us and hopefully the audience,” the band say.
“All of us are good friends and everyone is passionate about the music.”
In terms of what the future holds for Dean Forever, keep your eyes peeled for some great new music videos…
“Alison Baker and James baker have created a black and white 60s sci fi mini movie where I fall in love with an orb alien being for Could This Be OK? Where as Gilbert Kemp Attrill has tapped into the Godard side of the era with a bold and veiled ironic statement for Ease the Nearing.”
And while it hasn’t been long since their last album dropped, it doesn’t sound like we’ll have to wait long to hear more.
“You can expect album #2 in the not-too-distant future!“
“Also I’ve always wanted to do a Christmas song, and I think I’ve convinced Jakub after much arm twisting – so maybe later this year?“
Catch Dean Forever live at BIGSOUND in Brisbane 4 – 7 September.