Easy Dreams - Sunformer
This Friday, Los Angeles-based band Easy Dreams will release their new album Sunformer via their label Yallbeat Records (pre-order). The band will be playing an LA record release show on May 13 at Harvard and Stone. In anticipation of Friday’s album release date Sunformer is streaming in full at Adventures In Americana.
On the album the band’s Meredith Meyer says:
“Some of these songs are wounded. Some hold on tight to hope. Then there’s some that just want to blow the lid off the place. All these wild and different songs come together to make Sunformer. On this album, we wanted to kick against hard luck and worldly troubles. But we wanted the songs to be tender and merciful too. Sunformer is something the band all dreamed into existence together. It’s our weird joyful noise.”
Some years ago in Brooklyn, Meredith Meyer, a singer-songwriter whose time in the post-punk influenced group Young Unknowns was coming to an end, and Brandon White, then a member of a noisy ensemble called Cuss Words, both attended a less-than-legal party being held in a storage space. A fun little get together with one small problem: only one bathroom to serve 200+ people. But it was in that long line for the facilities that Meyer and White wound up meeting for the first time.
“It was freezing and snowing outside,” Meyer remembers, “and we were standing in line and we just started talking.”
“We talked about country music,” says White. “In particular, the first Flying Burrito Brothers record and how much we loved the vocal harmonies on that. We started talking about doing a harmony project together.”
“We were talking about how we’re from the South and the Midwest but we’ve never really tried to write any country-influenced songs at all. Then the police came and broke up the party,” Meyer continued. “I was like, ‘I’m never gonna see that guy again.’”
Luckily for them and for the rest of the world, the two had exchanged email addresses during that initial conversation. Soon the pair were writing and performing songs together and Easy Dreams was born. White and Meyer tapped into an undeniable creative chemistry, letting the project evolve from a simple folk duo to a full bore rock band.
Since then, Easy Dreams has relocated to Los Angeles and the project has continued to evolve, building in strength and dynamics as their slow burn has built into a steady fire. That has culminated in the creation of Sunformer, the group’s debut full-length out this spring. They were introduced to producer Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Helium, Army Navy) through a mutual friend. “When I met with Easy Dreams, I knew we could capture some magic together,” Lasus says. “The songs just kind of exploded and blossomed in a very natural way.”
The album finds the group, joined here by drummer Kenny Kupers and bassist Pete DiBiasio, meeting somewhere in the middle of their respective and collective influences. White and Meyer’s vocals call to mind the glorious harmonies of Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris while the music is a brilliant collision of psych country, shoegaze rock, and pure ’60s pop.
The concerns of life and death weigh heavy on Sunformer in no small part because the album was intended to be released last year but was delayed due to the passing of Meyer’s mother in June of 2022. Her influence on Easy Dreams’ music was profound even before she left this world. In 2018, Meyer put her creative work on the backburner to care for her mom. And to hear White tell it, that experience changed the duo’s approach to writing songs.
“It became much more of a ‘I gotta get this off my chest’ thing,” he says. “You know you’re going through this level of distress and other people are going through it. And if we can make somebody feel better through what we’ve been through, I’m going to do my best to do it.”
The death of Meyer’s mom also lent some urgency to Easy Dreams getting Sunformer out in the world, something that they hope comes across both when folks finally get a chance to hear the album in full and when they can bring them to audiences directly at their brilliant live shows.
“We can’t wait for people to hear it,” says Meyer. “Hopefully that comes across when we play. We can’t wait to play these songs for you.”