The second album from Canadian artist Wes McClintock, Open Dream is a diversely satisfying listening experience, ranging from spacey synth-minded mystique to heavier rock eruptions. “This is the album I’ve always wanted to create,” McClintock says. “It evolved out of re-working some very old songs of mine and turned in to a 2-year odyssey that incorporates everything I love about music.”
“Imaginary Songs” is exemplary of the project’s expanding rock tendencies. Twangy, debonair guitars drive into a contemplative vocal front, with a bouncing bass and haunting synth-laden layering. “Keep on thinking it’s my time,” the vocals let out during another bass/synth sequence, rousing into a particularly impactful melodic push with spirited anthemic appeal. The guitars and synth work interplay with atmospheric effect into the thrilling second half.
For those seeking a more energetic rock sound with hints of prog, the bursting “Breaking into Nothing” is well worth exploring. In the mood for a more lounge-friendly, psychedelic tint? The swiftly moving bass line and caressing vocals within “Home” are likely to satiate. The album’s title track is another winner, delivering a lusher psych-forward pop sound with deeply resonating vocals and spacey synths.
“The album was begun in a cramped rental home in Toronto in the midst of COVID, and finished in a beautiful house by a hill in the peaceful city of Saint John, New Brunswick,” McClintock continues. “It’s a very personal album and a pretty good reflection of who I am, both artistically and personally.”
cover art by Lyra Howell
“Open Dream” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of June 2023’ Spotify playlist.