We The Dreamers
Chico, California born Mike Wilken and Albany, New York State born guitarist Ethan Rose might approach music from two very different frames of reference, but its their simpatico relationship with each other as writers and performers that somehow gives their band, We the Dreamers, all the emotional heft it demands to make an impact on audiences. Their seven song EP features the duo’s first single “Time” in a prominent position and has surrounding material that is, often, every bit as strong as the song they’ve opted to lead off with in the public arena. The duo’s avowed goal of bringing together indie rock trappings with electronic music and a more than passing affinity with modern pop comes off here without a hitch, but the twosome never restrict themselves to that avenue of expression alone. Instead, We the Dreamers take the roundabout way and frequent detours towards realizing a vision of their music encompassing that aforementioned defining element in their character while introducing other, perhaps unexpected, sides.
The first song on the EP “Crystal” gets things off to an excellent start because it comes so close to embodying the feel and texture of so many songs later on the release. Primary vocalist Myke Wilken conveys both thoughtfulness and sensitivity with his singing, but there’s the added element of a singer paying close attention and bringing the commercial elements to a song that it requires. For We the Dreamers, however, doing so never means cheapening their overall approach. That point is doubly apparent on the second track “Parasol”. This moves at a little brisker pace than the opener, but still shows the restraint that rapidly appears to be customary for the band. It’s a little busier than the first song, but never so much so that it threatens to overwhelm the listener.
“Strawberry Dream” is a much more obviously commercial song than the aforementioned cut and for very different reason. Whereas “Parasol” accomplishes much thanks to its blending of instruments, this tune accomplishes its goal through very different means. “Strawberry Dream:, instead, makes artful use of its melodic strengths along with some judicious blending of instruments. “Wiser” is definitely a marquee moment on the EP. This is one of the best examples of how well We The Dreamers ties up a variety of elements into one package with betraying a hint of the stitching. Wilken takes on a particularly assertive vocal push with this song while still retaining the sensitivity that the song needs. They handle a simple, nakedly presented folk song with the track “Words”. This has the strong feeling of an off the cuff moment as the recording even captures Wilken’s count-in to the song. We The Dreamers conclude their debut EP with the duo’s first single, “Time”, and it’s clearly a harbinger of greater days to come. It might remind some listeners of other songs on the EP, like the opener and “Wiser”, but the finesse here is on another level entirely. The seamlessness of this presentation crowns the EP with a moment of sparkling musical genius in a way no debuting act could ever hope for. We The Dreamers are a duo built to last and the seven songs on their first studio release are a powerful illustration of their talents.