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Nostalgia and nightmares

Dreams frontman Nick Wold on Nirvana, Duran Duran and Charles Manson


The Brooklyn band's been drawing attention since day one. - CARRA ROBBINS
  • Carra Robbins
  • The Brooklyn band's been drawing attention since day one.

Dreamers are nothing if not crafty.

The fledgling Brooklyn band — whose recombinant pop sound draws upon '90s grunge, '80s new wave, '70s power pop and '60s British Invasion groups — has already earned considerable alt-radio airplay as well as critical acclaim from Spin, Alternative Press and NOISEY.

Last week, Entertainment Weekly debuted the video for the group's "Shooting Shadows" single. All of this on the strength of just one EP and a couple of singles.

The band also boasts an epilepsy-inducing website that includes a tongue-in-cheek Anonymous-style manifesto ("We are boundless. We are enchanted. We are asleep to the waking world.") as well as a standing invitation for fans to send in their dreams.

"Their dreams are usually more David Lynch than Disney," admits frontman Nick Wold, who's just fine with that. "I remember we got one in which this girl said that she murdered us in her dream. And she wanted to apologize for it. We forgave her."

This summer, the group spent more than a month at Sound City — the legendary L.A. studio that's the subject of a 2014 documentary by Dave Grohl — recording their upcoming full-length debut, This Album Does Not Exist. Now they're out enjoying the pleasures of life on the road, including having their van broken into earlier this week in Columbus, Ohio.

While Dreamers are currently a trio (with Jacob Wick on drums and Marc Nelson on bass and synths), singer-guitarist Wold is hoping to add a fourth member down the road. That way, they'll be able to fully represent the arpeggiated keyboards and electronic rhythms that have earned them comparisons to Duran Duran and other '80s acts.

"I feel like the Duran Duran thing has been the focus for a lot of bands in New York these last few years," says Wold. "There's been a big '80s retro new wave fascination, which has never been our main focus. But I think we kind of soaked it up."

You can also hear hints of Roy Orbison and The Beatles in the chorus to last year's "Wolves" single, as well as the influence of Kurt Cobain and his Nirvana bandmates, who recorded Nevermind at Sound City.

"When I was a kid, I had a poster of Kurt recording that album in that room," he recalls. "It's this big cavernous room, and the drum sound was amazing. It turned out we recorded with the same snare drum that was on the Nevermind album, which I didn't even know until after we were done and the engineer just kind of dropped that fact. We were just amazingly stoked to be there."

And what about Charles Manson, who recorded at Sound City just months before his cult's killing spree? Was his spirit hanging out there as well?

"Yeah, Charles Manson in Studio B," laughs Wold. "They don't like to talk about that much."

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