In a world where most people claim to be genuine but all too rarely actually are, DREAM STATE feel different. Named after a person in pursuit of pleasure despite disastrous results, the bands hugely anticipated debut album 'Primrose Path' is a real statement of intent, and is set to be released on October 18th through UNFD (Frank Iero, Stray From The Path, Northlane). It will be preceded by the band's latest single 'Open Windows', out today. You can check out the video below.
Recorded at Silk Mill Studios in Stoke-On-Trent, 'Primrose Path' is the follow up to the bands debut 'Recovery' EP (20 million streams and counting) back in 2018, the same year the band received the Kerrang! Magazine 'Best British Newcomer' award. Produced by Dan Weller (Enter Shikari) the singles 'Hand In Hand' and 'Primrose' have already been released, with the later as a Radio 1 Jack Saunders Tune Of The Week in August as well as receiving support with Annie Mac, Phil Taggart and Daniel carter at Radio 1, as well as John Kennedy at Radio X and being play-listed at both Kerrang! and Primordial Radio.
“I like to be real. I want people to feel connected. This is why music is not just a band for me or the boys, it’s a way of inspiring. I know how hard life can be,” says the CJ Gilpin, DREAM STATE vocalist, “That’s my thing… being real, open and honest, There’s so much power in that. I can’t be fake, that’s just not in me. I can’t put on a façade.”
There’s no weird, pre-prepared spiel she spouts each night onstage, there isn’t theme or grand, minutely managed concept that floats across their music. Anything premeditated like that wouldn’t be them, and it wouldn’t feel right. “I like to be real. I want people to feel connected. This is why music is not just a band for me or the boys, it’s a way of inspiring. I know how hard life can be,” says the vocalist. The albums lyrical content spans commentary on social media, alcohol, drugs and much more aside from that, but also, “There’s a lot of goodness in there, a lot of fight. I want to wake things up and speak to people who can’t and make something of my life,” says CJ.
Lyrically, the album finds her opening up more clearly, openly and above all helpfully than ever about her addictive personality and struggles with alcohol and drugs. Partially to work through the emotions her subconscious regurgitated onto the page, but also in no small part to give people who’ve lost hope something to rally around. “This band is not just a band,” she says. “It’s something else to help others express in new ways. It’s music to help people.”
Musically, the band focused on honing their chaos, working in electronics and more ethereal sounds to pair CJ’s gut-wrenching monologues, sometimes screamed, sometimes spoken softly, all diving deep into the uncomfortable stuff in CJ’s mind.“It felt horrible for a while, and scary, but the second we said, ‘Fuck it, let’s just write’, the stories would come out naturally,” she recalls. “It’s the whole past year stuck into that last album.”
There’s ‘Made Up Smile’ (“I don’t want to be the same as everyone, be false and put on a fake smile”), the already mentioned new single ‘Open Windows’, which takes aim at the way we live through social media and screens (“We’re all disconnected from one another because we’re living through open windows, and we’re looking for any reason to ignore the problem and pull the blinds closed,” says CJ), while closer ‘I Feel It Too’ is the most emotional song CJ and the band have ever written, and features spoken word monologues and piercing screams through five minutes of pure emotional outpouring. Looking back at this one, she simply says, “That song terrifies me.”
Having made a plethora of lifestyle changes between the recording of ‘Primrose Path’ and its release, CJ has surfaced on the other side healthier and happier than before, meaning this album and these songs serve as a potent reminder of the darker places she and her bandmates have been, and it’s engrossing. Her shift in perspective makes ‘Primrose Path’ is an important reminder that not everything has to end in a desolate, desperate way. It’s an album that’s less full of music to wallow in and more music and stories to take hope and heart from.
“I hope people can hear their story,” CJ says. “There are dark places... Suicide used to be in the back of my mind, but now I can’t believe I ever went as dark as that. It’s important that you keep taking the punches. It’s not easy for any living creature in this world, it’s a battle for everyone, but it’s amazing what you flowers can bloom at the end of it.”
'Primrose Path' is set for release on October 18th.