Without a doubt, the 11-track trek through unique plunderphonics and thumping beats is a triumph, guiding the listener through a collection of lively tunes that completely redefine genres as we know them.
The album’s opening track, ‘Touch’, is a slow-burner unravelling every second with new layers and ideas. A pounding kick drum is interwoven with an Alice In Wonderland sample, appearing under shimmering guitars and the divine voice of Georgia Van Etten which all snowballs together before the song’s bare ending. Every track of Ivy’s follows this trend in surprising ways, building before melting into the next.
The album is filled with exceptional vocal features, like on ‘Chasing Stars’ where Bertie Blackman’s soaring voice pairs with the wild instrumental underneath. ‘Get Me A Drink’ features E^ST for the ultimate party-anthem, complemented by a furious and tongue-twisting rap verse from Charlie Threads. The glorious voice of Georgia Van Etten returns for the album’s namesake, ‘I’m Dreaming’, which, appropriately, is a dreamlike mixture of animated synths, layers of sounds and powerful beats.
Two instrumental interludes divide the album perfectly. ‘St. Germain II’ features a frantic drumbeat under the familiar horns from ‘St. Germain’. ‘St. Germain’ has a more danceable beat pounding under voice stabs, and retro keys.
‘Charlie’ is a standout, using delightful dynamic range and funky beats to create a satisfying and catchy number. This song exemplifies Ivy’s entertaining use of speech, as the voice sample somehow becomes musical and rhythmic over the punchy brass section and drum part.
The antique nature of these vocal samples – taken from old-timey advertisements, complete with record needle static – works in opposition to the modern sounds of ‘Be Friends’ and ‘Almost Here’. Both of these tracks have brilliant rap verses, with RaRa on the latter making his home in the tune’s infectious beat. Twinkling keys float away on the pretty ‘Kaya High’, ending the album on a delightful note.
Alice Ivy’s impressive debut really is a dream, each track taking the listener to a new but familiar place. And like every good dream, you feel sad once it’s over.