Dream State have released “Twenty Letters”, their final single ahead of the release of upcoming debut album Primrose Path. They’re four-for-four from where I’m sitting, with “Twenty Letters” being yet another gem of honesty and encouragement from the Welsh four piece.
Lightly and openly, vocalist CJ Gilpin invites listeners into a powerful moment in time. A moment that inspired a recognition of her capabilities as well as impacted her future from then onward. With a “woo!” and a crystalline melody, there’s celebration here together with the weight of the breakdown/breakthrough that CJ went through. Writing with pain as catalyst, the flood of words in this dark time made way for something fresh.
I first listened to “Twenty Letters” while on a walk (alone) amongst nature, and CJ’s rawness on “I learnt to walk alone and hold my own” seeped into my core with a wowing authenticity, having me tear up in response. For anyone who’s ever faced something mentally or emotionally overwhelming, it’s so easy to turn to crutches of escapism instead of being present in the metaphorical storm of it. The newfound strength that came for CJ in being on her own and making it through is palpable, bleeding into a defiant and glittering chorus.
“I’m undone, already won.”
The lilting repetition of “Holding hope, don’t let go” comes across like a mantra to me. A reminder on a loop to remember what has been faced and what has been gained, and a self-affirmation to leave it in the past.
Speaking about “Twenty Letters”, CJ describes the experience behind it just as the song itself feels. With a purging of pain, CJ was compelled to write to release what had her feeling “trapped and tormented by my own mind”. She shared a turning point, in which she “stared at my monster in the mirror” and “made friends with it” and understood it, in contrast to running from it and self-medicating as she had in the past. In facing her shadowier aspects, it was a point of surrender but also a point of triumph for CJ. She felt that she was undone enough that she became virtually unbreakable. Hope was a central part of this experience, arriving in the process and acting as a conqueror. Hope also had CJ continue through the breakdown, which inspired gratitude for the future, with the resulting letters held close.
Sonically electric in screams and noisy riffs at times, “Twenty Letters” also features the soften spaces of quiet hope and whispers. Colourful circular riffs join the multilayered experience as it drifts to its end, with the mantra of encouragement and shine of the memory fading out with the song itself. Beautiful and impactful, it’s yet another song from Dream State that offers encouragement courtesy of its vulnerability.
Listen to “Twenty Letters” via YouTube below. Primrose Path releases on 18th October and can be pre-ordered now at: https://unfd.lnk.to/PrimrosePath