The independent music world is a beautiful community. We see a lot of crossover, collaboration, and side projects, and familiar faces make their way across the map to create new sounds and adventures in music. Marine Dreams is the new project of former Attack In Black bassist Ian Kehoe, and his self-titled album is creating a stir across Canada. Released November 2011 on You’ve Changed Records, “Marine Dreams” mixes the old and new with classic song writing, modern reverb, and some unexpected arrangements, a combination that gives Marine Dreams a completely recognizable sound. The source of toe-tapping, head-nodding, and girlish squeals the music world over, it is an album that introduces a different type of sound and a very talented songwriter.
Stylistically, Marine Dreams falls into the same category as Guided By Voices and Joel Plaskett, with some elements of Attack In Black and Yukon Blonde. The ten-track album is an echoey, reverb-filled and happy adventure through the looking glass, a look back at some traditional elements of rock with a modern twist. Song after song, he maintains the same mellow and dreamlike quality, a completely earnest attempt at creating something natural and honest. The vocals aren’t flawless, but the songs are better this way. His voice is perfect for the sound he is aiming for and successfully creates: a guitar-driven, poppy and everyman approach to sincere and unpolished indie rock.
The closest description that comes to mind is that of a bathroom jam. Much of the album has the echo of music bouncing off linoleum, a quality that almost makes us feel we’re intruding on a private moment of inspiration. “I Can Laugh” is an example. Close your eyes and you could swear you’re standing in a public washroom, the distorted guitar mixing with Kehoe’s vocals to create a strangely intimate experience. This is by no means a bad thing: the sound is personal, inviting, and imperfect, and listening to the album you feel that you are part of a special experience, one that is even more fantastic live.
“Marine Dreams” is a welcome addition to the ever-expanding Canadian indie scene. Pick up the digital album at You’ve Changed Records, and go check out some MySpace and Facebook action for the latest on his touring schedule and new releases. He’s a cool guy, this is a great album, and if you like guitar rock, you will love Marine Dreams. Go enjoy.