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Album Review // DREAM STATE ‘Primrose Path’

Embracing their traumatic emotions and experiences, Dream State bring out the light in the dark with their debut album Primrose Path.

Dream State - Primrose Path 2019

Dream State‘s debut album Primrose Path is utterly sensational. The album is a call out to those living through the devastating reality of drug addiction and deteriorating mental health, expressing how tough these issues are but also that they can be overcome and that you are strong enough to do so.

“This band is not just a band,” lead singer CJ says. “It’s something else to help others express in new ways. It’s music to help people.”

That is exactly what I can see this album is accomplishing. The lyrics are so true and voice what it is like to live a life where drug addiction and mental health take over everything. This can understandably be very difficult for outsiders looking in to comprehend but I think this album is going to help people empathise.

Made Up Smile opens the album with an eerie atmosphere demanding your attention instantly. The sound of all the songs on this album is relentless and brings a different tone to the record. Dream State have blended heavy guitar riffs and an electric style of music to make something completely their own.

Are You Ready To Live? is less synthesised and more guitar led, with epic sounding choruses. The overall theme of this song is similar to Made Up Smile, focusing on depression but the end of the song which had for the most part sounded rather defeated finishes with the lyrics “I’ll make this life mean something before I end up dead / I’ll find the things that I love, let them kill me instead / We’ll make it out of the trench / We’ll fight our way to the end”. These lyrics are full of hope, like many other songs on this album including Hand In Hand.

Other tracks on this album depict different aspects of depression and drug addiction. Spitting Lies addresses the way you can lie to people as part of your disorder and this song is a way of apologising. Out Of The Blue explores the frightening thoughts of someone who can’t cope with life to such an extreme they are having to fight to stay here for the ones they love. Primrose also has the theme of desperation that goes along with mental health issues with its lyrics such as “God just give me some release / God just give me something please / Cause I’m drunk / And on my knees.”

Another topic Dream State address is social media. The lyrics of Open Windows include “We’re stuck living behind open windows / Looking for a way to pull the blinds closed.” What I take away from this song is that social media really isn’t good for us and that a lot of the time what we are seeing there isn’t real.

Despite touching upon very dark themes on this album, Primrose Path isn’t supposed to focus on the negative. The idea is to take hope from the stories with the knowledge that recovery is possible since they were strong enough to do so themselves.

A lot of the tracks on this album sound haunting but I Feel It Too in particular even scares CJ with how dark the lyrics are. There are spoken word sections scattered across many of the songs where most of the music cuts out and it is just CJ’s voice but in this song the words she says cut particularly deep.

Primrose Path has not only met the expectation placed upon Dream States’ debut album, which after the singles was pretty high, but with this they have completely surpassed how good I thought they could be. I honestly don’t think I could fault this album. The band has brought themselves to a whole new level and with just their first album they are already proving that they are in my opinion one of the best bands on the upcoming UK rock scene.