Paige Berry and Half Dream released one of my favorite EPs this year, Monster of Needing…and today they’ve got a holiday tune Paige penned to share. While the song was written pre-pandemic, the thematic relevance to this year’s holiday season is blatantly obvious in the title alone. The core of the song really focuses on Berry’s voice, which is a marvel, draped over a heavy strum and some accents in the song’s background. Always down to celebrate a great voice, and perhaps we’ll all find solace knowing that we’re all alone together.
Seeing as we’re based in Austin, born and raise and what not, we feel a special affinity for our music scene, which has been hit really hard this year. But, let’s celebrate the music that came out, despite the difficulties we all faced. So, here’s our Top Releases from the ATX scene. And still staying away from numbering things, as this feels like telling one friend you like them more than your other friend…and I’m just excited all these great artists live nearby and were able to put their art into the world in this shit year.
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!
We’re sort of in love with Half Dream over here, especially after the moving “Celia” dropped a few weeks ago. It would be really easy for us to wax poetic about the power of Paige Berry’s voice; you’re going to be blown away again within the first 15 seconds, particularly by the angelic tones that tease you into the track. For my two cents, the success of this song comes in the balancing act between the band’s more forceful performance and the delicacy with which they approach the interludes. Just before the 1 minute mark drums ring out announcing a brief foray into sonic bombast, only to recede into the whispers briefly for Berry’s voice before galloping to the end. Such juxtaposition crafts a sort of push and pull within the song, building your emotional investment as you listen. They’ll celebrate this new single with Rattlesnake Milk and our own Mean Jolene Friday night at Hotel Vegas; Monster of Needing comes out on April 2nd.
It’s Monday, so I don’t want to ruin your musical week, but you’re all going to love this brand new track from Half Dream; it’s going to keep getting played in your head all week…sorry about that. Paige Berry owns this song; her voice falls somewhere between Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten, mixing heavy tones with angelic sparkle that rises in the mix. I love how the band sets the song up, Berry and a few riffs riding through the Texas countryside before the drums drop in to thicken the mixture, adding in a natural hook to bury the song deep within your subconscious. This track appears on the band’s forthcoming Monster of Needing EP, which drops on April 2nd. But, if you’re in Austin, the group celebrate the release of this new single this Thursday at Hotel Vegas; you can find out more details HERE.