Ahead of the album of the same name, the oddly…make that wonderfully oddly, named Big Bus Dream has given us an eponymous single as a teaser and a taster of what’s to come. And it’s an absolute cracker. I’m not sure where the band name comes from, but for me, it seems like a metaphor for change or progress, like jumping on the big bus to success in the same way that, say, The Waterboys told us, “That was the river, this is the sea.” It all looks pretty aspirational—as is the song itself in its own dreamlike way.

C’mon, Dream is about wish fulfilment, about living in the moment and perhaps going back and making more of your youthful years. Youth is, after all, wasted on the young; who wouldn’t want to return to those formative years armed with the confidence and experience you have now and revel in those impetuous, carefree times? With all your youthful anxieties replaced by the wisdom that only comes with age, imagine how you could reshape those times, how much more easily it would have been to get the girl, trip the light fantastic, embrace life and live it to the full. Such is the dream vision that lies at the heart of the song. It’s great whilst it lasts!

Musically, C’mon Dream sits between pop’s infectiousness and indie music’s weight, a perfect blend of alternative muscle dancing with mainstream melody. And all though plenty is going on musically in the song: layered guitars, unfussy but effective back beats, basslines that serve the music, chiming pianos and various additional tones and textures, they fit together in such a way that the light still gets in. That is to say, every thing shares the spotlight, no one ever steps on anyone else’s toes. There is space to play and room to breath.

And I love the vocals. Much is made, thanks to vacuous TV talent shows and music industry stooges that even the powers that be admit don’t really sell records any more, of the perfect singing voice. (Hint: It never existed, beauty is in the ear of the beholder.) Even if they try to achieve such a task, most of them are auto-tuned to within an inch of their life. I mean, I could break the Olympic record for the 100 meters if they let me use a fighter jet! So why claim to have a great voice if most of it comes out of a box?

To me, a good singing voice is one with personality, its own character, individuality and presence. A list of my favourite singers would undoubtedly include the likes of Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Neil Young and Leonard Cohen. Can they sing? Perhaps not by current warped standards, but I would listen to them every time above any industry-groomed, gap-year troubador with complicated hair, an eye on their own perfume ranged wielding a pristine acoustic guitar. The point is this. I would, without any shadow of a doubt, add Big Bus Dream’s vocals to my list of favourites. It’s lived in and likeable, not trying to be anything it’s not, not aiming to follow fad or fashion, the sound of a singer just being who they are, and okay with it. Not perfect, which ironically, is perfect.

C’mon Dream is a great song. It seems to exist at the meeting of musical worlds, somewhere between cultish and commercial, between pop and a hard place, between past music traditions and one possible sound of the future. I like it. I like it a lot.

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