Craig Wedren, the former lead singer of influencial Dischord Records band Shudder to Think and more recently, as a prolific composer for TV and film, has certainly made the most of the pandemic. He not only recently announcing a single and video series called The Dream Dreaming, but also had been hosting a daily vocal sound bath live stream on Facebook called the Sabbath Sessions. He even took part in longtime friend David Wain’s covers series Collaborative Covers by Amatuers of Rock – he being one of the only non-amateur musicians to participate.
Wedren recently kicked off the video series with “On My Tongue,” an alt-rock inspired track with hooky, pop-influenced vocals. Today we’re premiering the second song and video from the series, “Going Sane.” Fans clamoring for new music that draws more influence from his noisy post-hardcore days will be pleased. Pulling elements from punk as much as pop, you’ll be bopping your head along with the catchy but complex songwriting.
The song opens with a droning, lightly-phased guitar riff, and Wedren singing with a softer delivery. When the pleasentness is interrupted by a brief moment of dissonance, it’s obvious “Going Sane” is going to be a more experimental track than the first song from The Dream Dreaming. The abrupt, dissonant guitar riff is slightly altered and incorporated into the song’s catchy chorus, which is where the drums and bass arrive in earnest and turn this into a full-fledged punk track. Throughout the song Wedren’s vocals are melodic, soothing and even soaring, no matter what is going on instrumentally behind him.
“Bearing in mind that the meaning of songs is a fluid and unfixed thing, ‘Going Sane’ seems to be about the promise of wellness and sanity that comes from outside of ourselves, versus the wellspring of good health and wisdom that is available within,” said Wedren. “‘Going Sane’ is also one of a handful of very Shudder To Think-y songs that popped out while writing for this new collection, which was a very welcome surprise.”
Wedren’s concept behind The Dream Dreaming is to focus on a song and a visual at the same time, allowing each element inform the other. Unlike creating an album, it provided “something personal and fantastical upon which to steadily focus, while serving as a balance to the film and TV work that happily occupies my days. They feed each other, one inspiring the other,” said Wedren.
Wearing his composer hat, Wedren has scored shows like Hulu’s Shrill (along with Ana Waronker of that dog.), Netflix’s GLOW, NBC’s New Amsterdam, among many others. Taking the idea of his daily Sabbath Sessions, Wedren has launched a podcast series around the concept and released an album in December of 2020, Sabbath Sessions, Vol. 1. You may be asking yourself, “what is a vocal sound bath?” These performances were live, improvised, meditative vocal music put through loops, created from Wedren’s instrospection of mindfulness and wellness practice. His dedication to performing Sabbath Sessions daily throughout the summer built a devoted following of viewers.