Collective Dreams Comes Into Their Own With ‘The Evergreen Sessions’

Published: February 24, 2017

“Music is life manifested in sound. We make music to communicate ideas and experiences that words cannot.”

For Collective Dreams, the statement from their band bio is a self-fulfilling prophecy. After seven years of making music together, the group has settled into a raw, cathartic groundswell that becomes them.

“The biggest difference is certainly coming into our own as a pure instrumental project,” says drummer Travis Hildenbrand. “This being our fourth album, we’ve really found our niche as an ambient-psych group, but with a little more motion and energy than some of the other artists in that type of genre.”

Collective Dreams is Caleb Barber (guitar), Albert Salinas (guitar), Daniel Ray Zamarripa (bass) and Travis Hildebrand (drums). “The Evergreen Sessions” is the quartet’s first completely self-produced release, and the sound and tone stray from previous releases.

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The album is comprised of seven tracks written and recorded at an arguably legendary house on East Evergreen Street known as “That Place Off Evergreen” that formerly hosted a plethora of DIY shows. (Side note: If you never partied or attended a show at Evergreen in its heyday, what were you doing with your life – besides being a potentially responsible human being?)

“The entire album was recorded by our very own [bassist] Daniel Ray,” Hildenbrand says. “It was great to have one of our own at the controls; really contributed to the overall organic songwriting and recording processes.”

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A visceral experience, “The Evergreen Sessions” is packed with emotion and grit. You can feel the cathartic ethos pouring out as the album progresses. Each song has its own ability to evoke genuine emotion from the listener.

Track one, aptly named “Fast Slow,” softly begins the listening experience. The beat waits to make its first move a little after the minute mark, followed by breakdowns that permeate the track. At 3:10, I felt a beating, angst-filled heart explode somewhere in the universe.

Instrumental music frees the listener to perceive as their heart and mind sees fit. Suggestions for your first time listening to “The Evergreen Sessions”: Get a little lost. Go stand in the sun and cry for a while. Cruise your city with a spliff. Find some trees to run through and let the branches smack you in the face. Feel the feels. It will be good for your soul.

You can find the full album on Spotify and iTunes. Don’t miss Collective Dreams’ album-release show Saturday, February 25, at Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex with support from Animal Spirit, Wayne Holtz, The Gentlemen Swank and Red Cardinal.

Written by Libby Day

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