Formerly part of Virginia-based indie group We Are Trees, James Nee has since moved on to another project – this time as one half of the dream-pop duo Dream Shake. With the help of his friend Elliot, he’s just released the band’s nine-track self-titled LP on Frenchkiss Records this past October – and it comes with a unique twist.
A self-proclaimed pop culture junkie, it would only make sense that Nee would reference it in his music. At first glance, the tracklist might seem like just a collection of ex-girlfriends’ names. But it’s actually a bit more quirky than that. In fact, titles like “Buffy” and “Stephanie” are all actually nods to fictional female characters from Star Trek, Degrassi, and even Final Fantasy.
The concept album sounds a lot grittier than his last project, taking lo-fi pop to a whole new level. Nee states that he draws a lot of inspiration from television, anime, and video games, although people might think it’s just another album to swoon to, since the tunes sound like he’s actually addressing his high school lover. Regardless, the album as a whole is catchy, chromatic, and refreshing, complete with guitar-driven melodies and feel-good lyrics.
On the band’s Facebook page, Nee has stated that he’s already begun work on a new record. Only time will tell if he’ll stay with Dream Shake, start yet another new group, or embark on a solo round.
Article by Alex Wu