Good vibes and warming nostalgia immediately contrast the implications of this album’s title. Recorded on a TEAC 4-track tape machine back in the eighties, Bad Dream celebrates immersive, purposeful songwriting and production, with a multi-layered and dreamy array of synth-led original songs.
Considering the forty-year time frame, the quality of the sound here is sublime – something we tend to forget with the rise of digital to digital creativity. In addition, the opener Silly Hole proves a joy to listen to – poetically provocative, creatively interesting, with a strong groove throughout that naturally keeps you engaged. Count is the artist, and we’re off to a mighty start.
Some say the eighties were a simpler time – all decades prior to this one, to be fair. In terms of the music though, there’s plenty of experimentation and contemplation, and those qualities have swiftly made a come back in recent years. For Bad Dream, we get authenticity of historical context – we’re transported with genuine connection to that era of the past, and Count guides us through a plethora of stories and vibes as the journey moves along.
Passion Attack fascinates, seems both joyful and interesting, but with a simple rise and fall melody and accompanying distorted synth riff. Minimalism of structure meets with fullness of design.
Then, I Will Find delivers a touch of delicacy and hope, bringing back the thoughtful writing, and the artist – the human – at the centre of the work. A personal favourite, with a worthy use of contrast between that chiming synth and the fuzzier bass sound.
Get A Way hits with brilliant impact afterwards – cinematic design and intention again standing taller than the supposedly quirky aspects of the recording time. Then there’s the sudden pace and compelling imagery of Dynamite On Wheels.
Other highlights include the melodic simplicity, riffs, vocal passion and mainstream-familiarity of the title-track Bad Dream (another favourite), and the again cinematic-prowess and uplifting, near-euphoric brightness of closing song New Clouds (offering a seemingly predictive nod to what would later become the Donnie Darko soundtrack).
In short, a real pleasure to turn up loud and feel embraced by right about now. A fine collection, gifting a refreshingly pure connection to yesteryear.