No One Defeats Us, the debut album from DREAMS, is available everywhere today. Those expecting the lush pop layers and vocal nuances of Luke Steele or the trademark vocal stylings ofDaniel Johns won’t be disappointed as DREAMS weaves it all together in an odd sonic hybrid of synthesizers and guitars while dipping in and out of pop, dance, hip-hop and rock. The album, available for purchase and streaming HERE via Astralwerks, features debut single “No One Defeats Us,” the brooding, pulsating follow-up “Silence,” the soaring “Love To Live” and rhythmic anthem “Young Minds.” “Dreams” is the latest track to be lifted from the album – a glorious, sweeping, melodic tune – listen HERE.
The title track and first single, “No One Defeats Us,” is a war cry. It’s like the exorcism of a bad series of events, or a bad dream. “The single says lyrically what our goal is, it’s a journey into our vision of the future,” Johns explains. “We wanted to create a gang and have that song as our mantra.” “Silence,” the last song recorded for the album, was written by the duo in response to the violence that unfolded in Charlottesville in August 2017. Both tracks went on to receive the remix magic touch from the legendary Grandmaster Flash, to spectacular effect. “Love To Live” is a soaring track with stomping kick drums, delicious 80’s claps and hovering synths working together creating one of the most satisfying hooks on the record, all punctuated with glistening, quintessential Luke Steele vocals.
“DREAMS are a super-duo of sorts, the brainchild of Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele and Silverchair’s Daniel Johns,” observed the LA Weekly. “It’s not unexpected that theatrics is one of the driving forces of DREAMS…but what you’ll walk away with is their highly danceable, super-sticky, deceptively simple blend of electrified pop.” Johns and Steele are no strangers to music fans, having sold more than 10 million records between them. And now the enigmatic, theatrical and somewhat controversial songwriters have created yet another sonic kingdom, unlike any other. Making their debut at Coachella in April before they’d released any music, DREAMS returned home for two full houses at the Sydney Opera House in May during VIVID LIVE.
DREAMS lives at the intersection between art, pop, electro punk and pure fascination. Johns and Steele are no strangers to music fans, having sold more than 10 million records between them. And now the enigmatic, theatrical and somewhat controversial songwriters have created yet another sonic kingdom with their new project DREAMS.
“Now is the most challenging time in music. Music now is continually based on social algorithms in a land where the computer is king. Problem is that a computer has no soul,” Steele says. “When it comes to music, Dan and I both have an undeniable spirit of adventure. DREAMS is a brotherhood, it’s about depth, dimension and sonic satisfaction. We want to live in a world that is moved by music, not measured by it.”
The pair first met in 2004 when Steele’s band The Sleepy Jackson supported Silverchair on their sold-out Diorama tour. “I remember hearing Luke on the radio with his band and I was like who is this guy. The connection with Luke was instant,” Johns recalls. “That was like 14 years ago…. since then we’ve recorded hundreds of songs and maybe three or more full albums before we settled on this sound.”
“We work really well with each other, but we’d get together and write some really good stuff and then there’d be a gap of three to six months between writing and everything we’d done would feel obsolete. We’ve been writing and dreaming together since we first met.”
Steele says he even insisted that Johns bury some of their original demos because he felt it was the only way to copyright them in this day and age. “I kept telling Dan he had to take all the tapes and bury them in a graveyard somewhere so nobody ever found it. He did, and now we don’t have any clue where they are,” he says.
“The essence behind DREAMS is finding the most modern ideas and then having some kind of connection to the past. Whether it’s a reference to Brian Wilson or to Kraftwerk. It’s about including musical elements that have made us the artists we are while ignoring those things that would have been obvious for us to do musically.”