Dreamcache releases an exciting self-produced pop anthem, a stylistic departure from much of his previous output this year
A departure from the plugg and trap influenced tracks that have characterized artist/producer Dreamcache’s 2022 output, ‘Guilty’ is a brash, bitcrushed dance-pop song, produced by the artist himself. Dreamcache has had a fairly busy year, with the EP ‘EZ Mode’ released in May and a collection of singles surrounding the project, as well as collaborations with the likes of Capoxxo and Mayh3mp.
A low-passed piano melody and distorted lead form the initial melodic structure of the song, joined by a top melody and arpeggiated synths that float around the stereo field. There is a distinct emotive quality present through the melodies, evoking feelings of nostalgia and introspection, in contrast to the otherwise bright timbre and fast tempo of the track. A thumping, compressed four-on-the-floor beat serves as the foundation of the song as Dreamcache’s hook begins, the lyrics a murky recollection of a relationship that has become distant on both sides (“So I don’t believe the way you left me on idle was OK / I’m not surprised though, because I did the same thing to you”). The vocals are heavily processed but retain clarity throughout the song even at its most crowded moments, a testament to the engineering prowess present in most of Dreamcache and peers’ music.
Dreamcache leads us into his first verse, a four-bar reflection of his partner’s emotional support – -what he believes to be the source of his happiness – -during their relationship that is now lost. The instrumental loses a bit of intensity, synth layers muted via filter or stripped away entirely to bring the listener’s full attention to the lyrics. Dreamcache takes the emotional impact further by punctuating their verse with a direct apology, leading into another repetition of the hook.
The second verse is significantly more melancholic, a more personal look at Dreamcache’s struggle to accept the end of the relationship and inability to fill the void left behind by it, money and success failing to mend the split or provide fulfillment in the same way. Dreamcache wrestles with this, unable to reconcile his emotions, his hope that the relationship may continue offering a weak sense of purpose (“I’m fighting just to stay alive so I can fucking love you / But it’s hard to wake up with no one next to me to love me back”).
The section trails off into a filtered, stripped-down repetition of the first verse acting as a sort of bridge. The hook and first verse repeat once more, before the song breaks down, harsh lead melodies and countermelodies trading off bar-for-bar, glitching and arpeggiating all the way into the final moments of the song.
Stylistically different and more personal than other material he has put out this year, Dreamcache has released one of the cleanest and catchiest dance-pop records of 2022. The production from the artist is otherworldly, with the breakdown at the end providing a heap of rewind-worthy synth lines, each melodic element meshing with the next seamlessly. , the hook and verses are still effective and Dreamcache’s vocals are engineered immaculately. I look forward to the rest of this artists’ output for the year and hope to see him go further in this direction in the future at some point.
‘guilty’ is available for streaming on SoundCloud and other major streaming services.
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- Steve Warner (@xoxoarctic)