Drearia - Revival - Stereo Stickman

Drearia Revival

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This solo project from Alterity’s own artist and composer Drearia is one that offers a uniquely ambient and often provocative array of soundscapes – creating complex, captivating experiences for the listener.

Don’t Go Out Tonight as an opener is fascinating in itself – enough so to have you replaying it just to lose yourself in the details once again. What begins as a simple gathering of delicate atmospheric layers, soon evolves to become a melodically compelling and thoughtful track – one that carefully walks the line between melancholy and optimism; feeling occasionally calming, occasionally unsettling, though neither one latching on too intensely. It’s a beautiful piece of music, minimalist in some ways and notably retro from an instrumental perspective, but it’s the music you connect with much more-so than the bricks that built it.

The Club Came To Life follows the opener and sees the energy soar. A traditional string performance creates a manic and partly organic contrast with a thick, eighties-inspired beat and a heavy bass-line. There’s a dance-vibe to the whole thing, but there’s also a sense of chaos intertwined with this inherent rhythm. The connection between that effect and the title stands tall – there’s more to the music than a simple EDM track might offer. The melody is unpredictable, feeling like a freestyle or a jazz-influenced meandering for the most part. That ‘live’ quality is appealing for its honesty and adds a valuable element of humanity to an otherwise industrial and electronic progression.

Babylon sees the energy and intensity reach even higher – the intro is impossible to ignore, and in true Drearia fashion what follows is impossible to predict. The tribal nature of the subsequent drum-line and the rather epic hint of guitar in the distance paves the way keenly towards this spoken word outpouring of poetic historical ideas. The piece holds tight to your attention throughout and marks a definite turning point towards darkness within the project.

Is Anybody Out There makes sense after Babylon – the playlist was undoubtedly arranged with intention, and thus it works in the way that a short film would. This track is an easy highlight – the mysterious and creatively unpredictable aura meets with some simple yet addictive moments of melody and instrumentation alike. These various riffs rain down, the vocal line driving through the centre of it all, a brilliant melody and the questioning lyric draws you right in. Meanwhile the beat and the surrounding layers create a distorted and intriguing sense of weight and power. The louder you listen, the stronger the effect.

Bringing in more of that musical prowess is the track The Bash Singing Lasher – a beautifully well placed beat offers a mellow contrast to a high-energy piano part, all followed by plenty of structural space and the reintroduction of that traditional folk vibe that was hinted at during The Club Came To Life. This is perhaps the most eclectic and unexpected composition of the project so far, the various sections seem to arise out of nowhere; the concept and underlying story-line painting a totally unique and interesting series of thoughts before you. There are flickers of organic musicianship as often as there are of retro production and even a hint of classic gaming towards the end.

Nihilism & Decadence III tips its hat towards the dance-core energy of Alterity and builds something dark and intoxicating around its audience. Vocals and classic synths work well to entrance the listener, meanwhile these intimate images and ideas conjure up thoughts of precisely the kind of lifestyle that often accompanies a night lost within the grip of EDM.

The project comes to a close with The Price, a short piece coming in at just two minutes eighteen but one that feels much bigger than its timescale implies. The opening drum-line offers a fairly relevant thread that keeps the album united, as does the vocal that comes into play later on. The rhythmic layers that build up introduce a rather hypnotic piece of music with a mesmerising pulse – all of which later falls away to lay bare a dramatic scene of darkness; words like blood, dirt and death emerge by means of a softly spoken performance. The story lingers in your mind after listening and a replay is almost essential just to make sure you captured the essence or point of the piece.

As suggested, this is a fascinating album – enjoyable at all times yet also unique and unusual enough to really hold your interest. Superb production skills fuse with unlimited creativity and help cement Drearia as an impressively artistic and enchanting musician.

Download the album via Bandcamp or stream it on Spotify. Find & follow Drearia on Twitter.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Musician & writer with an MA in Songwriting.