Dreaming of Sleep is an entrancing new album from Tulipomania, the Philadelphia-based duo of Cheryl Gelover and Tom Murray. They embrace an electronic-forward sound here, traversing alongside post-punk and art-rock pursuits for a chilling, atmospheric production throughout. “Musically, the album feels like an interpretive dance to me,” Murray explains. “A reaction to overwhelming anxiety and frustration – while also mirroring and grappling with this ridiculous anxious age we are living in.”
“You Had to Be There” opens with ample intrigue, intertwining glimmering synths with a haunting title-touting resonance; aesthetically, I’m reminded of a chillier Sparks. The droning synth-forward composure proves simultaneously approachable and thought-provoking, opening the album with stylish appeal. The single also comes alongside a video (below), boasting a gripping sense of modern expressionist appeal with darkly memorable imagery, culled from found footage.
Another highlight, “From DC to Daylight” weaves warbled bass-y effects alongside ghostly vocal layers. “Driving all night,” the vocals let out at one point, aptly placed considering the ample nocturnal haunts apparent in the cumulative soundscape. The subsequent “Fades Away” laments on the challenges of a daunting impending future, with orchestral-emulating synth tones driving into the devastating “it all fades away,” emphasis.
“Time Will Tell” concludes the album with a more serene, lulling sound — referencing dreaming and sleep alongside serene synths and patient vocal unfolding. From more warming efforts like this to delectably unsettling pursuits like “From DC to Daylight,” Dreaming of Sleep shows as a riveting success from Tulipomania.
“You Had to Be There” and other tracks featured this month can be streamed on the updating Obscure Sound’s ‘Best of December 2023’ Spotify playlist.
We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.