A Midsummer Reverie: Entering The World Of Dream Note
I stumbled upon Dream Note through a friend’s recommendation. Admittedly, I started listening to the band purely from the lens of someone who was looking to write a review; to casually listen to them for an article and never again. However, I was in for a treat. With music that manages to encapsulate you by creating a sense of familiarity, and engulfs you with a feeling that can only be described as a call to come home, Dream Note is one of the underrated gems that the Indian indie music scene has to offer.
The brainchild of lead vocalist Gaurav Tiwari and bassist Sachin Singh, Dream Note was formed in 2014 and is now a band of six – with Yash Verma on the piano, Bharat Pareek on the drums, and Taresh Agarwal and Saurabh Parihar on the guitar.
The band’s first single, Tere Janey Ke Baad, which came out in 2017, was a Pop track that described the bittersweet feeling that comes after parting ways with someone one had a difficult, yet loving relationship with. Needless to say, heartbreak gets to even the best of us. The peppy melody combined with lyrics that lament loneliness, reflects a conflicting push and pull imagery between the narrator's external and internal environments. The song also emphasises the feelings that come with moving on; where it seems impossible, because everything becomes a reminder of them and what once was, and will have you deep in your feelings.
PSA: Do not, I repeat, do not listen to this song at 3 AM. You WILL want to text your ex.
Along the lines of heartbreak, Dream Note’s release, Na Kehna Tum, is a beautifully written rock ballad that uses its instrumentals to magnify the intensity of the pain the lyrics speak of. As lead vocalist Tiwari sings about the childlike hope of running into an old partner somewhere, the steadily crescendoing guitar and drums reflect the restlessness and the urge to go back to the comfort and safety they brought you. All in all, it’s safe to say that Dream Note is more than capable of expressing the unsaid through not just words, but with the enchanting instrumental soundscapes they manage to create.
Anyway, onto the next – as Waqt Ki Baatein released in 2018, the band really took off. Waqt has been, till date, their most heard song, coming at the top of the Dream Note search list on any music platform. To me, this song feels like an older self giving advice to a younger self – asking them to be patient, asking them to not be so hard on herself, and acknowledging every step they have taken, and even faltered at.
The younger self feels uncomfortable receiving these affirmations – with a lost sense of self, and drive to prove themselves, still unaccepting of the fact that time will always be in their favour, and everything will eventually fall into place. The fear, the anxiety and the unsurety that the younger self feels – who would understand it better than the older self? Waqt Ki Baatein evokes a sense of realisation and acceptance of what one has overcome, and almost encourages you to be proud of yourself for coming out stronger.
Let’s talk about Girgit Damroo and the Good Trip; a criminally short EP, that sounds just as trippy as the neons that pop in its album art. The album, while starkly different from Dream Note’s previously released singles in its sound, retains the same anguish and emotional depth in its lyrics of tracks like Mehfuz, Sapno Ka Mol and Hata Diya.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Mehfuz has underlying subtexts similar to Waqt Ki Baatein – as Tiwari seems to be calling out to himself, worn out and bruised, afraid to get out again. The fast paced, erratically changing percussion is a nod to the fear and panic that comes with picking oneself up. There’s something that pulls you back and tells you to sit in your comfort zone rather than putting yourself out there.
However, one isn’t meant to be stagnant and comfortable and the finale of the song is an ode to that thought – it is inevitable that one eventually risks breaking free from their comfort zone, since nothing comes out of stagnating. In the end, Tiwari accepts himself leaving his box to move onto things, while reassuring himself that where he is right now will still be his resting place, if he ever feels like coming back.
As an album, Girgit Damroo and the Good Trip serves to be a tiny sample of just how versatile Dream Note is as a band. Encompassing a variety of unique sounds that highlights the band’s ability to experiment with different genres while keeping their original *vibe* intact, the album is almost a showcase of them discovering themselves as artists, and is a testament to how multifaceted they are.
The band is also one that isn’t afraid of evolution and speaking to the current circumstances; their latest release, Zindagi Ki Goud Mein, fits right into the current scenario. As the pandemic continues to uproot the lives of everyone, making it mundane for some and chaotic for the others, the song acts as a sheltering, protective canopy that aims to accompany us in these tumultuous times, and tries to soothe our anxiety to make us feel a little less lonely.
A piece of art that speaks to someone so candidly about real, human things is a rare find, and Dream Note manages to accomplish exactly that – with music that speaks of anguish, love, loss, and everything in between. Among many up-and-coming musicians, Dream Note steps into exploring a plethora of emotions scattered across genres.
Their sound is experimental and unboxed. A band of six, exceptionally talented musicians is bound to bring range in the kind of music they produce, and their existing discography definitely lives up to it. Their musically traversive nature leaves the listener in anticipation of what’s to come next, with the certainty that their music will continue to leave behind a taste of solace and recognition