SONG PREMIERE: King Dream Offers Modern Psych Genre Bender On “Return to Zero”

In the summer of 2016, Jeremy Lyon found himself anchorless. His band had broken up after five years of touring the country, and Lyon felt consumed by uncertainty about the future — both his own and America’s. So he picked up a pen.

“It was the first time I was writing without needing anyone else’s approval,” says Lyon, an Oakland native. “So I stopped worrying about taste or whether a song was good until after it was done — and that opened the floodgates.”

King Dream is the result. With a soulful voice, roots in the golden age of California psychedelia, and a modern indie rock energy that places him firmly in the 21st century, Lyon charts a path through timeless themes: disillusionment with oneself, with adulthood, with one’s country — and the discovery, time and again, that somehow there’s still plenty worthy of a love song.

“Return to Zero” a title derived from a button on my old tape machine, RTZ, which auto rewinds back to the beginning, started on a trip to Southeast Asia in 2018 with a bit of weed, a Volca Beats drum machine and an acoustic guitar. The lyric sparked during a conversation with a friend about nearing 30 and never having left California. They described growing up in the Bay Area as “golden handcuffs,” an image that really resonated with me. The longer you stay somewhere, the harder it is to leave and start over. It felt emblematic of this moment, as this ever-lengthening pause is a unique time for a reset without leaving.

In a psychedelic haze of arpeggiating synthesizers and circular guitar musing, Jeremy Lyon aka King Dream sings softly drawing us into his colorful new genre-bender single, “Return to Zero” that Glide is premiering. A song built on dynamic and soaring vocal lines and staggering arrangement, Lyon is a skilled producer with an ear for thorough and unique songcraft. Striking and swift violins dance on a bed of intentional low-end cushion as a vivid track builds and evolves into an orchestral delight. ”

Lyon describes more in-depth his inspiration behind the song…

When the Pandemic hit, my buddy Scott McDowell at Wally’s Hyde Out, who mixed my debut album, approached me with an idea to record an entire band, individually, remotely, in one day, producing with real time feedback over Zoom and Audiomovers, a plugin that essentially broadcasts your recording session to anyone with the link, all whilst livestreaming the entire recording session on Twitch. Cody Rhodes (Geographer, Curls), Scott Padden (Goodnight, Texas) Pat Glynn (Con Brio) and Graham Patzner (Whiskerman) all engineered themselves from their homes in the same day, recording a song they’d never played before, alone or together in a band format. I was blown away by what they laid down.

As primarily a folk-rock musician, I thrive on the “band in the room” vibe and the search for the “magic take” ethos that fueled many of my favorite albums. Changing my recording approach out of necessity has opened more possibilities. Having more time to flesh out parts and arrangements without being “on the clock,” collaborating with more musicians who are usually on tour, learning how to engineer, mix, and run Pro Tools (with the help of Jonathan Kirchner, who mastered this track), were skills I hadn’t had time to develop during the previous paradigm of living gig to gig, and have turned into silver linings of life during Quarantine. With three unreleased EPs in the can, and plans to record a new album in March, expect plenty of new music coming from King Dream in 2021.

 

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