Words: James Frostick
Band image: Ross Coulter
Cover art: Richard Lewer
Naarm/Melbourne dream-pop two-piece Time For Dreams is today unveiling ‘A World Of Your Own’ – the second single from its sophomore album Life of the Inhabitant (out next year via It Records). Imbued with a palpable yearning couched within a sense of desperate loneliness, this serene lullaby-like composition navigates the the illusory nature of a one-true love – a idealised companion born from fanciful imagining and wanting.
There’s no more powerful tool in our cognitive arsenal than our imagination. We use it to channel and refine our innermost hopes and dreams, and weave them into an alternate reality that is, ultimately, preferable to the realm we physically inhabit. Few material objects manage to stack up to the concepts and ideas we can conjure with our mind – especially magical mental manifestations of things that we already posses or hope to obtain, like dream jobs, dream houses and dream partners. Time For Dreams is a pair of dreamers, so it’s safe to assume they understand the double-edged sword that is uninhibited fantasy. On their new song ‘A World Of Your Own’, Amanda Roff and Tom Carlyon undertake a gentle unravelling of a common daydream delusion. They present pointed revelations regarding the notion of the ideal partner – a seductive reverie that is commonly, but not solely, an invocation of the lonely and dissatisfied.
Where Time For Dreams typically transport their ideas on billowing plumes of hazy synth throb and sighing rivers of ambience, ‘A World Of Your Own’ is, perhaps, the most pared-back track in the group’s repertoire. A delicate piano twinkle forms the crystalline skeleton of the song – fragile translucent branches that support Amanda’s lullaby coo (itself unsettlingly joined by her own echo, a thematically appropriate addition courtesy of a modulated taped harmony). Throughout the song, Amanda places herself (and by extension, us) in a solitary space as she pens an ode to an incorporeal other – a dream lover, a soothing spectre, a caring creature of her own creation. Although the figure is a romantic conceit created to be the perfect reflection of wants and needs, Amanda’s dream beau is not without flaws – a heart-rending fact that becomes more apparent as the song progresses. Though lost in fantasy, Amanda in the song is not entirely without clarity, acknowledging the intangibility of her creation (“even though you’re made of me / you have a personality / but no materiality“) and its unavailability (“you’ll never be at the show / or afterwards at the disco“). While the line “when will you be real?” hints at an unshakable pining desperation, the grim truth of reality inevitably proves inescapable (“I am walking all alone“). This dependence on imagination is, perhaps, a mechanism we use to cope and reckon with some things being unattainable – a pursuit of the level of happiness and contentment we believe we’re missing. Perhaps true contentment isn’t something that miraculously materialises, but something you must work to create at the expense of fantasy. I’ve read that the entirety of Life of the Inhabitant takes place during a fictional unfolding apocalypse. This gives way to the heartbreaking realisation that Amanda’s character has probably created her partner as a desperate response to the crushing weight of loneliness – a form of comfort in a decaying world. The fact that this fictional figure still can never hold up to scrutiny is doubly tragic, proving that sometimes our imagination isn’t as all powerful as we sometimes wish it was.
Listen to ‘A World Of Your Own’ and view its accompanying visuals below. The clip was created by Australian-born but Berlin-based videographer and creative director Mariana Jocic, who filmed the piece in Greece and Berlin.