Around the time I was doing my prep work on this record (basically, just listening to it lots) a good friend of mine asked me the following question: ‘Should I like Those Dancing Days?’
Now, of course, I should have replied with a long, thoughtful speech about how there is no real answer to that question. About how there is not a single band or artist that you ‘should’ like or, for that matter, dislike (except Phil Collins, obviously – everyone should hate that little fucker) but instead you should approach music that is new to you without prejudice, with a completely open mind and just listen to it.
Spend some time just listening.
You’ll know soon enough if you like it or not.
However, I didn’t say any of those things (except the part about Phil Collins, obviously).
Instead I slapped him in the face and, like some sort of maniac, yelled at him ‘NO, YOU SHOULDN’T LIKE THOSE DANCING DAYS, YOU DICK! YOU SHOULD FUCKING LOVE THEM!’
As I came to write this review I remembered that conversation and for the briefest of moments I was concerned that maybe I had gone a little over the top.
I needn’t have been worried though, because as I listen to this record again, there is no doubt about it – I was completely correct in that statement, Daydreams & Nightmares is a brilliant album.
If you are familiar with their impressive 2008 debut In Our Space Hero Suits then you will already know that they have always had the potential to make a record of this caliber, but how many new bands hint at that sort of potential with a debut only to disappoint hugely with the follow up?
TDD have had no such problems – from the very nanosecond the drums begin to thunder on the explosive opening track ‘Reaching Forward’ – it becomes clear that this is something special.
There are some big songs on this record, songs with a soaring chorus or an insanely catchy melody. Songs like ‘Can’t Find Entrance’ and the aforementioned ‘Reaching Forward’ for example, already sound like sure-fire hits and that is impressive enough, but there is so much more here, too.
‘Fuckarias’ sounds like The Runaways on speed and features another colossal drum part from Cissi Efraimsson whilst ‘Dream About Me’ and ‘I’ll Be Yours’ head in completely the opposite direction and land firmly in the territory of synth-pop gorgeousness, complimented perfectly by Linnea Jönsson’s vocal which floats along like a carefree bumble-bee on a summer’s day – demonstrating just how far she has come over the past few years.
‘I Know Where You Live pt.2’ is, as the title suggests, a song for the obsessed – or as some might say, the stalkers – of the world with the chorus ‘I love everything about your life / And I won’t stop until I know that you’ll be mine.‘ It also features another staggeringly good vocal from Jönsson who spits the lyric at a velocity that would make most rappers choke with envy.
As if all that wasn’t enough, they close the album with the immensely beautiful ‘One Day Forever’ – a duet with The Maccabees‘ Orlando Weeks – which is short and really very sweet and closes this particular chapter of the Those Dancing Days adventure perfectly.
Much of the lyrical content on this album deals with dreams and/or imagination and it might just be that the abundance of imagination within these ladies has enabled them to make such a glorious album.
It feels as if they went into the studio with no limits, restrictions or expectations and have just let these songs grow from simple ideas into a beautiful, expansive and sublime album.
So if you are wondering whether or not you should like Those Dancing Days, well, I’m sticking firmly by my original statement.
– David Tinkler