Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this edition of the Independent Spotlight, we shine our gaze on ‘Danger Zone,’ a new single from the indie artist Dream that is due out on January 13. The single, which was written in 1978 as Dream was stranded in a car on a bitterly cold winter night, has been a vital source of inspiration for the performer throughout his life. Now, he’s decided to share it with the world.
It’s worth noting that Dream is an artist that has explored an array of genres. He’s written and performed jazz, country, classical, R&B, pop, rock, and more. Born in 1958 in Augusta, Georgia, he still resides in the state in Atlanta, signed to the indie label Appadydus, which is the outlet releasing this new tune. Is ‘Danger Zone’ a single worth having in your collection of indie music? Let’s delve into it and find out.
Out of the gate, ‘Danger Zone’ beautifully exhibits Dream’s handle over quite a few genres. The first forty seconds of the track are a spoken word section that borders on hip hop influence. Dream fires shots across the bow at corrupt politicians and police, imploring his listeners to “keep on keepin’ on” in a divisive, frighteningly hostile contemporary social landscape.
The track evolves after the forty second mark, however, and essentially turns into a funk track. In a classic context, Dream is heavily reminiscent of Motown. There’s certainly a sonic lineage between ‘Danger Zone’ and The Temptation’s ‘War.’ In a modern context, Dream sounds quite a bit like Charles Bradley.
The production of ‘Danger Zone’ is absolutely superb, boasting a massive soundscape jam-packed with harmonious backing vocals, a terrific studio band, and Dream’s infectious personality. This was the first time Dream's ten-piece live band was brought into the studio together to record. (Dream also arranged and performs bass on the track.) Simply put, there isn’t much music in the indie scene right now that embodies the funky, soulful space that ‘Danger Zone’ does.
This is a great single to kick off 2017. It’s well-produced, well-performed, and it’ll get listeners nostalgic over their favorite funk and Motown acts. Dream commands a splendid presence over his track, and the musicians and vocalists accompanying him fill out the atmosphere perfectly. ‘Danger Zone’ is a track well worth having in your indie music collection. It’s unlike anything else out there right now.