By: Emily Gibson
It’s been a few weeks since I first stepped out of the nostalgic world of Dreamboat’s LOOSE TOOTH, yet I still feel like I am walking down its bittersweet streets. Over the course of five songs, the album reflects, challenges and calms as it tells stories of love, life and moving on.
The album begins with the sounds of a long drink and a contented sigh, which then becomes opening track “Neighborhood Bar.” The song starts slow and reflective as the two lead vocalists, Mary Bryce and Will Maxwell, dance around each other in a folk-sounding melody. The song is an invitation: “Take me down to your neighborhood bar / I want to forget all about my bad day.” Midway through the song, they are joined by a chorus of voices and a horn section, and the song becomes more drunken, raw and communal. The song is welcoming you into the album’s world: a sweet, simple time to drink, sing and forget.
Mary Bryce takes the reigns on the next track “Spent The Day Lying In Bed,” a poppy-;yet-soulful confessional about moving forward despite existential troubles and overwhelming apathy. Her voice is powerful and demanding, and the lyrics are thought provoking and honest. From the thoughtful and determined, “And if I open up my heart to the sky, I wonder if it’ll swallow me whole and I’ll die / but I know I, I won’t burn out” to the sweet and loving, “And on the days that I was sad / you were happy just to have me over,” this track epitomizes what the album is about: community, thoughtfulness and internal strength.
And the idea of a loose tooth about to fall out – apprehensive excitement because of the pain that comes with it, but also the growth – seems to sum up the album’s overarching feel.
The third song is a testament to the talent of the five-piece: guitarist Jake Miles takes the vocal role and is supplemented by Bryce’s harmonies and complemented by Maxwell’s guitar, bassist Harrison Anderson’s playful bass lines and drummer Paul Pinon’s energetic drums. The track, titled “Used To Have To Be Too (Wanted)” is the most dance-able song on the album. It is also the only one that features an organ, played by Jack Van Norman, which combines with a blues-sounding guitar and Miles’ soulful vocals to create a determined independence.
The fourth track “Kiss You On The” continues the album’s playfulness with its energetic sound and nostalgic rock-vibe. Then the album ends on a bittersweet note with “New England,” a slow and simmering love-letter to a far away home. The song invokes all three vocalists to sing together: Maxwell in the forefront sings, “Birds have been singing a bitter goodbye / Till I get back, till I get back” while Miles and Bryce behind him croon, “Days feel longer when you’re not around.” The album ends just as slowly and reflectively as it began after having taken its listeners on a journey through love, hope and peace.
The name LOOSE TOOTH and the album’s artwork, a photo of a mother and baby on top of a hazy pink background, seem perfectly fitting for the record, which drips with nostalgic feeling and grown-up reminiscing about the idealism of being young. And the idea of a loose tooth about to fall out – apprehensive excitement because of the pain that comes with it, but also the growth – seems to sum up the album’s overarching feel.
LOOSE TOOTH creates its own world inside of the neighborhood bar where it begins. It’s honest, warm and rich, like sheltering from a harsh winter inside of a pub and singing loud with your friends. It’s the kind of album that envelops you, invites you in, and leaves you navigating its world for days after it ends.