Badly Drawn Boy just released a new song and video for “Is This a Dream?” his first new single in seven years. Damon Michael Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy, the English singer-songwriter just came out with a colorful new video to coincide with “Is This a Dream?” which is a brilliant tribute to where we are at in society today. Throughout the video, there are symbolic translations of Facebook likes and hearts falling from the sky to remind us that we are chasing after validation. At one point, there is a visual in the video that has the same logo as Facebook but it says Bragbook instead. With the lyrics like, “Welcome to the tragedy, it’s not the way it’s supposed to be. I know. Now I’m seeing things.” He continues, “Is this a dream, it’s like a disease that we all catch in our sleep.”
Badly Drawn Boy explained the song’s backstory in a press release, going on to call it a mirror of our modern-day absurdities. “The song is a sound collage of chaos and confusion to reflect the ridiculous times we live in,” he said. “A deliberately cartoonesque sonic poke in the eye, to those in whom we place trust, yet instead supply constant barrage of misinformation followed by bad decisions.”
“Is This a Dream?” was produced and mixed by Gethin Pearson (Kele Okereke, Jaws) after original production by Youth (The Verve, Paul McCartney). According to a press release, it’s in support of an upcoming Badly Drawn Boy album, his first since a 2010 trilogy, excluding movie soundtracks. In the music video, directed by Broken Antler, Badly Drawn Boy’s words come to life with distorted images of Donald Trump, the Joker, and a melting planet earth in an ice cream cone, just a few of the colorful visuals in the video.
In the early stages of his career, Gough chose his stage name from the title character in the show Sam and his Magic Ball, which he saw on TV at a party in Trafford, Manchester, in 1995. Before he thought of using this name he made some business cards, each one unique, with a printed picture of a drawing by his nephew and a small collage by Gough. A chance meeting with Andy Votel at the Generation X bar in Manchester, where Gough’s friends Scott Abraham and Damon Hayhurst were contributing to an exhibition by the Space Monkey Clothing Company and Votel was DJing, led to the foundation of Twisted Nerve Records.