Dreamback – Asleep

Almost a year ago to the day I was introducing you to the debut album from UK-based producer/musician Jamie Duddy. I was absolutely floored by the joyful experimentation and dreamy aesthetic on show. This is why I’m so happy he has returned for 2022 with a new EP called Asleep. Has that experimentation continued? Let’s get in amongst it and find out.

The EP opens with the woozy ‘Connected’. This track immediately reminded me of Ultra Vivid Scene and Throwing Muses. Two massive favourites of mine. I was sold after the intro alone.

‘zzz’ opens with an eerie voice saying “counting sheep” whilst a psychedelic, swirly, raga dreamscape plays out behind it. This is a hypnotic interlude which takes us further down into Duddy’s imagination.

The centrepiece of the EP ‘Vison Clear’ appears next. Hung on a luscious chord cycle Duddy sings the song title like a mantra. A fuzzed guitar trying to edge its way is constantly held just at bay. Holding this perfect moment, frozen in time.

The lullaby ‘Saturn’ follows lifting us into space. Floating through the starlit expanse, in awe at all that surrounds us. This really is an ‘out there’ track where out there is the most wonderful place.

The EP comes to a close on ‘Wakeful’ as we rise from our slumber. The inclusion of pacier drums on this one whist revisiting the themes and motifs of the EP lead to a most satisfactory conclusion to our dream odyssey.

What Duddy has achieved here is a cohesively themed EP which feels like a trip from start to finish. That’s not something that’s easily achieved and certainly not this early in your recording career. I really hope we continue to see this level of songwriting in his future work.

Asleep is available now over on Dreamback’s Bandcamp page and streaming on all the usual places.

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