On the back of a blistering, slightly overdriven guitar melody, the islander’s ear-candy that is Whitebeard’s new single, “Dream of Me,” starts to unfurl its centerpiece groove. With an ease that would make any nine to fiver green with envy, Whitebeard himself begins to sing, his words – and the tone in which they’re sung to us – echoing the energy of the instrumentation flawlessly. Before we know it, we’re off on a pleasure cruise of gentle percussion, happy harmonization and slow-rolling rhythm that will only grow more attractive as the music plays on. “Dream of Me” is indeed as dreamy as its title would imply, and much like every track this artist has issued, it’s a must-listen for indie fans in the mood for something fresh and original this year.
Whitebeard’s new LP Gunfighters Only Lose Once is going to debut later this year, and with this being the first single from its tracklist, it’s easy to see where his fans are going to be pretty excited from what this song has to say about is parent album. Right off the bat, I think there’s more of a guitar-focused attack in play here that draws our attention towards the instrumental fabric more than the lyrics. The verses are designed to complement the tone of the melody instead of the other way around, and they serve the song quite well in this capacity. Some artists are more than content to use familiar compositional patterns when creating new music, but others – like Whitebeard – simply can’t work with recycled, unexciting concepts in their material.
The beats here are at the foundation of most every powerful turning point in the track, and I don’t think “Dream of Me” would be nearly as engaging a number without their potency. Almost every component in the guiding harmony leading into the chorus has a textured presence, but more often than not, it’s the drums that keep us on the edge of our seats as we follow the ebb and flow of the group. There’s never a moment in which Whitebeard’s vocal plays second fiddle to the other parts in the song, but at the same time, the spotlight is spread out across all of the players in his backing band rather excellently.
“Dream of Me” comes to a conclusion with a few less sonic fireworks than it initially starts us off with, but while it crosses the finish line rather peacefully, the cratering effect of its melodies isn’t one listeners will soon forget after experiencing it for the first time. I was only somewhat familiar with the extended discography of Alan Curtis, better known as Whitebeard, coming into this review of his latest single, but I am definitely planning on following his upcoming work now. He’s flexing some serious songwriting muscle in “Dream of Me,” and if this is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to the new album Gunfighters Only Lose Once, his is one 2020 record I will not be missing out on for anything.