As if experiencing intimacy were not already a heavy confusing mess of emotions, “Strange Lover“—the new single from Half Dream—is a humble crying out to the wilderness of introspection. Where sadness and nostalgia is often reserved solely for the looking back while optimism and positivity come in looking forward, there is that moment which lies at the very center of it all, time suspended in bated silence, all spinning madly around us; at that moment we taste Plato’s agalma being pushed against by our own sense of individuality speaking in contrast of our experience as we try to understand the why; this is the place in which “Strange Lover” exists.
As though the void itself were a mirror, we merely exist as bystanders to the vocals from beginning to end. They never feel inclusive to us as the listener yet remain heartbreakingly familiar. The love of someone else is like that I guess. What makes this song stand out is in how Half Dream as a whole take a three-minute song and give it an everchanging life. While the lyrics never wain from the introspective, more than once they find themselves practically betrayed by the rest of the experience as the band moves in an optimistic picking up, often we feel the rush of being carried off by it, as though the tidal ebb and flow are beneath us as we remain helpless holding on to underlying strength of leaning hard on the reliability of 4/4 time. There is no definitive on who this song is for though the use of the word “brother” places weight on this not being romanticistic pining but something more, a worried understanding of being at the fork in the path where the aligned two must separate from the nucleus with only the heartbreaking potential of lost love. Of losing the loved person. It is a witnessing of the other choosing their steps under an unknowable weight which could very well be pushing them away. “Where are you going? Will I find me there?” If ever a song has opened with a clear understanding of what is at stake it is with those two lines.
“Strange Lover” is a solid single for Half Dream to put out as we get closer to their Monster of Needing EP release on April 2nd. It has a magnetic acceptance which should do well for finding a new audience, it has an overall polish to it that is not overproduced helping them gain the respect of growth without making us feel disconnected from the band in the process.