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LA Neo-Psych Outfit Dream Phases Debut Video for “Speed of Light” — Plus Interview

I’m jumping around now and I am riding in the sky

It seems so silent going down

I am moving at the speed of light

I am running at the speed of light

Today, L.A.’s neo-psych sorcerers Dream Phases unveil Speed of Light, the debut single from their forthcoming LP, Phantom Idol. Due out on July 12, this album promises to perpetuate the band’s ever-evolving shoegaze, psychedelic, and indie rock fusion. The song, a heady mix of swirling sounds and shimmering solos, is bound to make your head spin and your feet shuffle.

Their sound is a splendid stew of the earthy-yet-exalted tones of the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, blended with latter-day artists like Rain Parade, Elliott Smith, Autolux, The Lightning Seeds, Super Furry Animals, and Flaming Lips. While this impressive lineage is worth noting, Dream Phases bring their own quirky concoction to the mix, translating their unique experiences into something undeniably compelling.

In Speed of Light‘s delightfully dizzying lyrics, Dream Phases spills their souls while grappling with forgetfulness and the pursuit of triumph. It’s a declaration of devotion, done for some mysterious “you,” with no possibility of a return—no U-turns, no comedowns. Our hero is leaping and gliding through the ether, experiencing a strangely serene descent, while rocketing through existence at the speed of light. It’s a cosmic kaleidoscopic ride, where slowing down or turning back is simply out of the question.

“The song is unique because there are many tempo changes throughout, and it doesn’t follow a typical structure, explains Brandon Graham. “Shane wrote most of the instrumental to the song and Keveen was influenced by just finishing Einsteins’ Relatively. I helped with some of the vocal melodies and guitar parts. The song then came together completely in the studio with the help of producer Matt Schuessler. It feels like one of our more unique songs, and is quite a challenge to pull off live.”

Speed of Light is being released alongside a dreamy retrofuturistic music video, directed by Arturo Baston,  that’s sure to send your consciousness into the stratosphere.

Watch the video for “Speed of Light” below:

For the three musicians who comprise Dream Phases, holding back their musical visions has not been an option. Conceived in the private recesses of their L.A. home base, the trio has expanded outwards by drawing upon the heritage of West Coast pop/rock and skillfully reimagining it for the 21st century.

Dream Phases’ initial flowering was as a solo project by Brandon. After gaining a wealth of experience in the local scene, he decided to fully develop the songwriting side of his talents on his own. What began as a homebrewed project quickly turned into a collaborative stew as brother Shane and compadre Keveen helped him develop his compositions into a full-blown sound.

The sibling bond shared by Brandon and Shane lies at the heart of Dream Phases. “There is a special synergy between us that wouldn’t be there if we weren’t brothers,” Shane says. “We share many of the same influences, but we also have some different ones as well that help make the band unique. We don’t always see eye-to-eye creatively, but then we work it out and end up with something we are both excited about.”

Post-Punk.com recently spoke to Dream Phases about the new music video, their creative process, and what to expect next from the trio:

The music video for “Speed of Light” is truly an intergalactic experience. What was the inspiration behind this space theme in the song and in the video for the track?

Brandon: Shane came up with the music for the song and then Keveen wrote the lyrics to it. He was just finishing Einstein’s Relativity and incorporated some of the ideas from it into the song. Arturo Baston created the video and he has pretty free range as well are fans of his previous work. We basically asked him to create something in Space that was trippy and psychedelic. We love what he came up with.

Keveen: The song was written about Albert Einstein and what he would have written to his younger self towards the end of his life when according to what he said he had the happiest revelation of his life leading him to his theory of relativity. The music was composed by Shane Graham and it felt appropriate to tackle such a heavy subject as well as surreal to a certain degree.

When you wrote this song, did you have a vision for where and when fans might press play on it? I.e. in the car on the way to work? At a small get together with friends? When they’re sad after a breakup?

Shane: Anywhere they enjoy listening to music but good headphones and or a proper turntable setup are extra special.

Keveen: I think it’s a tough question to try to control or even anticipate where people are enjoying their music. This song is probably more of a sit down one and digest the message.

Brandon: Definitely with headphones, and the lights dimmed, in perhaps a spacey introspective mood. It’s a definitely a psychedelic journey and you’ll hear a bunch of trippy sounds with headphones.

“Speed of Light” is just one track off your upcoming LP, Phantom Idol. Does “Speed of Light” give fans a taste for the kind of sound we can expect on the album?

Brandon: “Speed of Light” is probably the most trippy and progressive song on the album. We wanted the first single to be one that hits right away and sort of shows the range of the album as a whole. If there is a unifying connection between the songs on the album then it is through the production. There are definitely different styles on the record, but if you dig “Speed of Light” you’ll probably enjoy the rest of Phantom Idol as well.

Keveen: I think this new new record has a few different tastes and it might be hard to contain it in one flavor. ‘Speed of Light’ definitely embraces a part of what Dream Phases is or where the band is heading to.

Shane: I think it’s just one flavor out of the many that are present on this record but it’s a good introduction into the experience that is “Phantom Idol”.§

Phantom Idol is out on July 12, 2024.

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Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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