Stream Monster of Needing EP by Half Dream

Early on in 2020, I had expectations that Half Dream would really take Austin by storm with their Monster of Needing EP. I was fortunate enough to get an early taste of the EP, but like so many folks out there, this pandemic derailed releases plans and created a few barriers the band would have to overcome. Luckily, today is the day you can all hear the EP in its entirety, and if you’ll hang out for a second, I’ll break it down track by track for ya!

Celia – This was the first tune I heard from the EP, and its so so strong that you might still be gobsmacked while the rest of the EP plays out. Just this one song alone, in my mind, puts Paige Berry right alongside any of the contemporaries in this genre. Wrap up your dreams in a little twang and soul, and you’ve got yourself one of the standout tunes.

Strange Lover – For starters, this song’s magic is of a different sort, giving you a sort of push and pull, light and dark. Berry’s voice is angelic, the band holding back carefully before unleashing this forceful blast of highway rock n’ roll.

Warmest Blue – At first angelic, this one opens itself up to a little bit of a thunderstorm. Berry’s voice floats on the wings of the track, guitars cascade behind her voice like a wind raising the notes high up to your ears. The noisy squall that rolls through this track adds great emphasis to the quieter moments, again toying with the musical balance.

Know You Best – This is the first moment on the record where the listener really gets a straight-forward ballad from Berry, and in that, it feels like one of the most personal moments, only in that the tune remains peeled back as Paige seems to weave herself through the vast expanse her supporting cast has crafted.

Sorry Is a Love Word – As I listen through this EP time and time again, I feel like this tune really hit home, just on that emotional level. It opens up brilliantly, gently teasing the track, then taking this superb turn right at the 40 second mark. I always find myself gravitating to small little moments that make or break a record, and for me, just a quick 2-3 seconds is all it took for me to fall for it.

Adventure Song – This track feels like a great road trip to me. You’re in your car, trying to get out of the city…things go slow, trickling through traffic. Suddenly, traffic opens up and you see the open road. Guitars ring out behind you, the wind howls through your window and your hands on banging on the steering wheel as you match the stomp of the song. Its expansive and moving, just as you’d want on your next trip. Plus, those discordant notes ringing out rule.

Love Is a Sword – In this number, and I’m sure it was apparent earlier with varying hints, but this is the tune that really feels like its the amalgam of Paige Berry’s life, stretched between Texas and Tennessee. It’s got these pristine folk notes, coming down the Smoky Mountains, then it jettisons off into this huge landscape, turing and twisting with ringing guitars and rolling drums escorting us home. Unwrap this wondrous mixture of folk, pop and psychedelia and let it wash over you as the EP closes down.

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