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Eisley — I’m Only Dreaming (February 17, 2017)

Eisley — I’m Only Dreaming (February 17, 2017)

       Eisley — I’m Only Dreaming (February 17, 2017)   Eisley — I’m Only Dreaming (February 17, 2017)•−••Ξ       I’m Only Dreaming further solidifies Eisley as one of the best modern indie rock/pop groups. Of course, the most obvious reason why is DuPree~Bemis, who seems to genuinely seems to feel every word she sings, but her voice wouldn’t be as impactful if it weren’t surrounded by such wise and vibrant instrumentation. While this record isn’t quite as nuanced as Currents or as heavy as The Valley, it’s easily the band’s most attractive, developed, and heartfelt full~length yet. Honestly, it stands as a benchmark not only in Eisley’s discography, but for the movement as a whole, and any fan of the genre should check it out. (JORDAN BLUM)
Sherri born: December 3, 1983, Tyler, Texas, United States
Location: Tyler, Texas
Album release: February 17, 2017
Recorded: June~July 2016 at Tyler, Texas
Record Label: Equal Vision Records
Duration:     45:01
Tracks:
01 Always Wrong     3:58  
02 Defeatist     3:31  
03 A Song for the Birds     4:01  
04 Sparking     3:45  
05 My Best Friend     4:07  
06 Rabbit Hole     3:58  
07 Louder Than a Lion     3:57  
08 You Are Mine     4:26  
09 When You Fall     4:04  
10 Snowfall     4:36  
11 Brightest Fire     4:38
Producer: Eisley
Personnel:
Songwriting:
•   Sherri DuPree~Bemis
•   Garron DuPree
•   Will Yip
Instrumentation:
•   Sherri DuPree~Bemis — vocals
•   Garron DuPree — bass, guitar, keyboards
•   Weston DuPree — drums
•   Max Bemis — additional vocals
•   Anthony Green — vocals (“Louder Than a Lion”)
•   Christie DuPree — additional background vocals
•   Will Yip — additional percussion
Production:
•   Will Yip — production, engineering, mixing
•   Ryan Smith — mastering
Credits:
•   Justin Anstotz Assistant Engineer
•   Max Bemis Guitar, Vocals
•   Sherri DuPree~Bemis Vocals
•   Francesca Caldara A&R
•   Boyd DuPree Design
•   Christie Dupree Vocals
•   Collin DuPree String Arrangements, Strings
•   Garron Dupree Bass, Guitar
•   Weston DuPree Drums
•   Eisley Composer
•   Anthony Green Vocals
•   Bliss Katherine Photography
•   Elle Puckett Guitar
•   Vince Ratti Mixing
•   Ryan Smith Mastering
•   Shelley Weiss String Arrangements, Strings
•   Will Yip Composer, Engineer, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Vocals (Background)
•   Tom Zodrow Percussion
Review
By Alex McLevy @alexm247, Feb 17, 2017  12:00 AM / Score: C+
•   Funny thing about family: You never really know the full sum of the role they play in your life until they’re gone. For Eisley, the family!centric Texas dream~pop band, that comparison extends to music as well. I’m Only Dreaming, the group’s fourth full~length album, is the first since the departure of guitarist Chauntelle D’Agostino and co~frontwoman/keyboardist Stacy King, both of whom had been with the band since the beginning. And while the new direction is dreamier, sweeter, and more consistent than past records, it’s a little too much of a piece: The music is accomplished, but the songs and production are incredibly repetitive, leading to an album that is pleasant enough to listen to, but not terribly memorable.
Ξ   The Fleetwood Mac comparisons never fully fit the group, but now it makes almost no sense. Far more shoegaze Americana than the ‘70s~influenced pop rock found on previous albums, I’m Only Dreaming dispenses with a variety of sounds and structures in favor of a single mood — yearning and wistful dreaminess — that it spreads across 11 tracks. Remaining singer Sherri Dupree~Bemis has a lovely, fragile voice, but not much range, and her vocal melodies tend to follow the same patterns time and again throughout the record, as do the lyrics. Nearly every song is a variant on “I love you, but you’re like this, and I’m like this, it’s sad but it’s wonderful,” with too many fumbling and easy allusions and metaphors to make it come alive. “I feel so sorry, I feel so sick, I’ve been trying to meet you but I wasn’t in the right place,” she sings on “My Best Friend,” like someone murmuring excuses for their behavior. Too often, that’s the impression left: Dupree~Bemis searching for lyrics and settling for conversation, or worse, generic wordplay (“You’re my everything, my sun, my moon, make me swoon”).
•    Musically, the songs flow into one another, creating an atmosphere of spacey gentility that occasionally rises above the homogeneity. “A Song For The Birds” stands out for its insistent, driving rhythm and propulsive melodies, a love song with a little kick to it. Similarly, “Rabbit Hole” breaks up the record with its quiet acoustic minimalism, conveying hope and hopelessness in equal measure. “Louder Than A Lion” may be the record’s best track, simply by dint of being the most distinctive. Kicking off with a jittery electronic skitter of drums, reminiscent of recent Metric, it soon launches into soaring “ahhs” and “ohs,” folding them into an almost chant~like vocal swirl, with insistent drums and an affected wash of instrumentation drifting into an echoey abyss.
•    But for every time the swoony simplicity of the music works with the underlying song, there’s a follow~up that falls back into platitudes and forgettable variations on the same musical themes. I’m Only Dreaming sounds like a band that, shorn of some of the formerly integral members, is scared of straying too far from the formula. It’s a pleasant record, but an awfully safe and unchallenging one. Now that the group has found a new sound, it’s time to let it go and take some risks. •    http://www.avclub.com/
Also:
BY JORDAN BLUM, 15 March 2017 / Score: 8
•    http://www.popmatters.com/review/eisley-im-only-dreaming/
Discography:
Ξ   2005 Room Noises
Ξ   2007 Combinations
Ξ   2011 The Valley
Ξ   2013 Currents
Ξ   2017 I’m Only Dreaming
Ξ   2018  Deep Space
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares, Score: ***½
•   On I’m Only Dreaming, Eisley balance big changes with longstanding traditions. In 2015, founding members Chauntelle D’Agostino and Stacy King left to pursue their own projects, while Weston DuPree decided to no longer tour with the band. That left Sherri DuPree~Bemis and her cousin Garron DuPree as Eisley’s remaining full~time members; while some musicians might decide to start fresh in a situation like this, the duo uses what could have been a crisis as inspiration to continue.
•   Not surprisingly, many of I’m Only Dreaming’s songs are about heartache and change. “I usually give up so easily,” DuPree~Bemis sings on “Defeatist,” and the bittersweet feelings continue on “My Best Friend,” “Always Wrong,” and “Brightest Fire,” which are some of the most quintessentially Eisley~sounding songs here. Over the years, the band traded some of its whimsy for a more mature, singer/songwriter~influenced approach that feels even more pronounced with only DuPree~Bemis writing all of the material. While this makes for a more cohesive sound than on Currents, it also means that sometimes I’m Only Dreaming isn’t quite as distinctive as previous Eisley albums; acoustic ballads like “Rabbit Hole” and “When You Fall” are pretty, but a little faceless. The band fare better when they broaden their horizons: “You Are Mine” leans into alt~rock, while the electronic and R&B influences on “Louder Than a Lion” and “Sparking” work surprisingly well. I’m Only Dreaming‘s brightest highlight is “A Song for the Birds,” a bright guitar pop song featuring DuPree~Bemis’ husband, Say Anything’s Max Bemis, that feels like a sequel to their previous collaboration, Perma. Moments like this suggest that this incarnation of Eisley sound best when they’re creating new traditions instead of holding onto old ones too tightly.   •   http://www.allmusic.com/
MySpace: https://myspace.com/eisley
Bandcamp: https://eisley.bandcamp.com/releases
Website: https://www.eisley.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Eisley
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eisley 
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Eisley — I’m Only Dreaming (February 17, 2017)

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