Lyrical masterpiece caught between emotions
There’s something intriguing about Villagers. The Irish indie rock band’s newest album, Fever Dreams, will draw in listeners immediately. If it’s not due to the adorably trippy Bojack Horseman-esque album cover (a man drowned in a pool, overlooked by a large Grizzly), any listener will definitely be hit by the lyrics. Each song appears to be carefully crafted, each word taking precedence over the next.
The use of saxophones and horns throughout the album creates a very interesting sound that both delights and haunts. There’s something eerie about it, something about the use of trumpets that hangs, and yet, it also seems to brighten things up. Above anything else, the album is relaxing and calming.
While the album may start out a bit slow and dreary with the 47-second song “Something Bigger,” it immediately brightens up with the first single off the album, “The First Day.” It’s joyful and cheery, filled with trumpets and a happy beat. One of the best lines from this song lies in the pre-chorus: “feels like falling in love on the first day of the rest of your life.”
“So Simpatico,” the second single off the album, begins with the clacking of ice cubes against a glass. The saxophone used in this track leaves a slight taste of sadness, like the last bit of sun clinging onto a Sunday afternoon before fading away into the night. The saxophone hangs on, lonely, but of course, so undeniably beautiful. The song ends with lyrics that are prevalent to the album: “the more I know, the more I care.” They play out until the listener isn’t quite sure what those words mean anymore.
“Circles In The Firing Line” is particularly soothing at the start, filled with slight saxophone and soft guitar and drum beats. The ending seems a bit unexpected, as a surge of pure rock comes out from the depths of the smooth indie saxophone stylings. A guitar riff that positively sings makes itself known, followed by a chant of pure outrage—“they’re fucking up my favorite dream.” “The more I know, the more I care” is seen again in the piano ballad “Full Faith In Providence.” It’s slow and wistful, with its lyrics seeming to discuss a relationship with religion and spirituality. This track just uses piano, which highlights the sad theme. Part of the song seems cold and distant as if having “full faith in providence” might not always be the answer.
The album ends with a twinkling sigh, concluding in two songs: the title track “Fever Dreams” and “Deep In My Heart,” both of which feature poetry-like lyrics that drip with art and talent. There’s something forlorn about them and yet something so beautiful. “Deep In My Heart” plays out like a summer breeze, right before fall makes itself known. The lyrics are crooned over a rich, slightly sad musical base filled with a slow bluesy drum beat and cymbals. The song has a sense of longing for a time better than the current one, now only reduced to a memory: “deep in my heart, moonshine soul remedy, in a goldmine of sweet memory.” It stings like remembering the fact that nothing lasts forever and that certain amazing memories are just that—memories, never to be lived again. That feeling stings deep in your heart.
Villagers created an album with an undetectable air about it. It’s halfway between eerie and relaxing, glorious and sad. It catches the listener and pulls them into the experience, led by the mantra: “the more I know, the more I care.” Fever Dreams will leave an impact because once you know it, you care for it.