Dream Diary is a New York City-based dream pop outfit that was formed in 2009 by Jacob Danish Sloan (Vocals, Guitar), Madison Farmer (Guitar, Vocals), and Alexander Lezzi (Drums). Sloan met Farmer in a chance meeting on the streets of New York when the two bumped into each other, dropped their iPods and when they went to pick them up discovered that they were both listening to The Queen Is Dead. Dream Diary took its name from the fact that the group was a collective effort to record their collective anguish and hope. The group’s unique blend of music draws comparisons to the Smiths, the Pastels, and The Field Mice. The band released its debut album You Are the Beat in 2011 on Kanine Records, with “El Lissitzky” being the lead single.
Dream Diary is a cuddly throwback to early 90s English twee-pop with a star crossed creation story (or myth?) to prove it. Jacob Sloan, a one-time child bass prodigy, was walking down Essex street in New York City when he crashed into Madison Farmer. Both dropped their iPods, and had trouble determining which was which as both were listening to The Smiths' The Queen Is Dead! And thus the pretty melodies and sunny vibes of Dream Diary was born.
You Are the Beat is a pop record clothed in the gauzy style of late 80s/early 90s indie: twinkling guitars, precious melodies, swathes of orchestral synth, and bittersweet backing vocals. Not unlike fellow Brooklyn C-86 revivalists The Pains of Being Pure at Heart and The Deprecation Guild, or Georgia's Wild Nothing, Dream Diary bears a huge debt to classic English band The Field Mice. However, Dream Diary one-ups all those other revivalists in pure sweet innocence, this is unabashedly twee music.
“El Lissitzky” starts off as one of the album's more energetic tracks with its punk rocker wearing a bow tie beat and quick, jangly guitars. Like many songs on this album, it shines brightest in the chorus where Sloan's slightly nasally, nerdy vocals blend with the perfect backing vocals. “She Has a Way” sounds like it was sandwiched in a late 80s college radio set right after an R.E.M. track and before The Smiths. “Is He Really Mine” boasts one of the most head-bobbingly catchy choruses of the album that will claw it's way into your head with a brutal aggression totally at odds with its sweet, sunny innocence.
Dream Diary's Achilles' heel may be their lack of variation, but with songs this fun, joyful and downright catchy, you can't blame them for their one minded obsession with crafting the perfect pop song.