We've been huge fans of London-based trio Fever Dream ever since their self-titled debut EP landed in a hail of feedback and reverb five years ago. Since then, they've signed to esteemed independent label Club AC30 and put out their first long player Moyamoya in 2015 to a wealth of critical acclaim.
Last month saw them release the long-awaited follow-up Squid and singer/guitarist Adrian Fleet gave DiS a track-by-track guide to the new record.
We thought we’d start the album on a positive, uplifting note - so this song about claustrophobia and modern slavery seemed fitting. While it’s perhaps the most shoegaze sounding song on the album in terms of guitars and vocals, it was formed around a Krautrock/Neu!-inspired drum beat written at our practice space at Kluster Rooms. The demo recording goes on forever. I’m not sure we’ve ever listened to the whole thing!
Youth (Is Wasted On the Old)
'Youth…' is about yearning for a past that never existed, about the old ruining the future for the young, about regret for a life unfulfilled. But it’s not without hope; it’s a call to arms for the young to call out the misgivings of the middle-aged, to change their worldview. The shoegaze inflected verse builds pace and tension until it’s broken apart by a soaring, slacker chorus - punctuated by an off-kilter, screeching solo.
Heads Will Roll
We’ve often avoided being explicitly political in our lyrics (largely for fear of holes being poked in an ideology not yet fully formed), but in the current climate, we felt any dissenting voice should be heard. The song is written from the perspective of a leader who portrays themselves as a saviour, and hides behind a symbol to force their own agenda. While the structure is conventional, we cut off sections prematurely to enhance the sense of urgency.
We started writing the album with the best intentions; of having every song fully formed before going into the studio. Of course, that didn’t happen, and 'Worms' was almost completely re-arranged while recording. It began as a post-rock jam phone-recorded shortly after the release of Moyamoya, and while we kept on trying to revive it, nothing came together during practice. Perhaps because it feels so fresh, it’s now one of favourite live songs.
This song was written and recorded right after we finished Moyamoya and was initially released as part of WIAIWYA’s 7777777 series. It features vocals and keyboards from the lovely Laura K (of Tigercats and Jean K), and we liked it so much that we had to find room for it on Squid.
In Another Place
The ending to this track was nicked from an older song that we played a lot while on tour a few years back with Evans The Death (RIP). It’s a lot easier to synchronise when we can see each other on stage, but in the studio we were separated by screens; our co-producer Paul “Thunder” Rains ended up waving a giant fake sausage in our sight line so we could keep time.
Originally this had the working title of 'Squid'; the lyrics are always the final part written in our songs, so during practice, we pick a word or two based on how a song feels. Once the chorus had been written 'Unity' made a lot more sense, but we liked Squid so much that we kept it for the album title. It starts with a stripped-back, less effect-laden sound (which Sarah likens to something off of Murray Street by Sonic Youth), and expands into the final chorus in which our co-producer Dave Holmes dreamt-up an ace harmony for Cat to sing.
When going into our old practice space to write this song, someone had thrown up in the doorway so the whole place stunk. It was one of those street pizzas that looks like it came from a joke shop. When we got into the space the mic stand was broken so we skewered it through a wicker chair. Does this have any bearing on the song? Probably not.
As our only instrumental, naming this track fell to the “call it the first thing you see in the studio” trope. During the recording session Giles Barrett from Soup Studio had wrapped himself up in fragile tape, so the rest is self-explanatory. An earlier version of this track (sans screaming kids) was released on a flexi disc by FreakScene records (RIP).
Cat loves her 90s dance breakbeats, so 'Luna Rossa' was built around one. As with Moyamoya we wanted to end the album with a looping melody to ease our way out, and I’m going to try to do the same with this sentence. Lovely.