I’m Only Dreaming Transcends Alternative Genre
Eisley’s fifth album, I’m Only Dreaming, demonstrates what it means to have versatility and perseverance. However, this album sees Eisley’s sound transform, as the band now boasts a different lineup. The three-sister trio that made Eisley famous have now become one sister plus two cousins. The Tyler, Texas band now harbor a very airy, pop sound that sounds like a cross between The Cranberries and Fleetwood Mac. Their newest offering definitely isn’t a bad album, however, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t expect to hear the Eisley with which millennials grew up; expect to hear a new set of vocals and lyrics laced with emotion.
While the band have remained strong in the alternative genre, to say that they are indie is a far stretch considering their roots. This is, after all, a band that have toured with Coldplay. At best, there are hints of indie weaved in each song, especially with Sherri DuPree’s soft, high-pitched voice in the mix. The first song, titled “Always Wrong,” has an upbeat beginning with strong supporting lyrics from DuPree, the remaining singer from the ’03 era. It really reminds one of The Cranberries output during the ’90s. While DuPree’s vocals are powerful, it is apparent from the first track how much the band have changed. Most of these songs are begging to be blasted from one’s car stereo during the summer. One favorite off the new album is the raw, acoustic “Rabbit Hole.” The ease behind the guitar is the best part, as it works quite effectively with DuPree’s voice. Stripping a song down is something that is not often done, but when it is it can reveal true craftsmanship.
Songs that sound more like the band’s older work include “Sparking” and “My Best Friend,” which are slowed-down and simple, a stark contrast from many of the upbeat tempos used on the 11-song album. “Sparking” also has a really sweet downtempo sound. The utilization of electronic music in this particular track is one of those moments where Eisley embody modern indie music — doing it better than even CHVRCHES. The small uses of electronic music in these songs not only amplify the sound for which DuPree strives, but it also gives the band a brand new feel. This is a sign that Eisley have progressed as musicians and as individuals.
Other tracks that deserve honorable mention are “You Are Mine,” for which Eisley filmed a music video, “Defeatist” and “Louder Than A Lion.” And yet another song that listeners shouldn’t skip is the album closer, “Brightest Fire.” The music composition complements DuPree’s vocals perfectly, almost sounding like a far more indie version of Paramore. A song about being in love, this final track is a perfect end to the album. While not every song hits the mark, there are gems — like the last song — that show that DuPree and her family were meant to be musicians.