Do you dream? Truly dream? Do you give yourself clearance to take off on flights of fancy? Ask permission to imagine the unimaginable? Dreaming is different than believing, which is different than doing, but the line between all three states is fine. It’s the width of a thread.
Montreal’s Thanya Iyer want to know if you dream. And if you do, do you believe them? And if you believe them, what do you do with dreams? What they do is make whimsical, wonderful musical figurines out of their dreams. Like those tiny, porcelain knick knacks your great aunt had arranged on a low shelf, dioramas of smiling frogs, rabbits stand on their hind legs wearing petticoats, a squirrel in a top hat and monocle. The stuff of dreams made physical and arranged to tell a magical story.
“Can we go far and sail away?,” asks instrumentalist Thanya Iyer (who lends her name to the collective of musicians that came together to record Do You Dream?), certain that wherever the journey takes her and her friends, whether a physical or spiritual one, it could be better than they’d ever imagined. Throughout the 19-song album, Thanya Iyer are closing the gap between the ideal world and reality. On the mildly hallucinogenic “Bridges”, Iyer asks “Would you rather hum in silence? / Make regrets through all the violence / Or would you rather make a sound that people can sing”. The answer is not a foregone conclusion, but you sense it’s there in the instrumental interludes sprinkled throughout Do You Dream?. It’s in these reflective moments that Thanya Iyer allow your mind to settle, gives your thoughts room to breathe, and nurtures the seeds of imagination planted a few songs earlier.
It comes as no surprise to hear from Iyer that, like dreams tend to do, Do You Dream? came about as the band explored ideas and inspirations that came to them as they worked on the album over the course of a year. They may not have been able to settle on a band name (the ‘theme’ tracks on the album are named after potential band names they discussed during recording), but Thanya Iyer certainly struck musical gold during their year of experimentation. The result is a prolonged, blissful slumber, and comes about about as close as you’ll get to experiencing dream-like sensations while fully awake.Do You Dream?’s idyllic, experimental folk songs will make you a dreamer and believer.