Just before their most recent tour, supporting As December Falls around Europe, DREAM STATE announced the release of their new EP, STILL DREAMING. On my first listen, it reminded me of As Everything Unfolds, FEVER333 and Architects, with hints of Slipknot and Linkin Park, who have previously been cited as influences to the band. 

DREAM STATE (credit Luke Shamrock)

The heavy guitars mixed with the emotive lyrics in the intro song, Still Dreaming is a good example of the point above. Being the first single released from the EP, the song is a great set-up for how the rest of the record pans out. The song has been described by the band as a “motivational anthem”, but also as the “most emotive and personal song (the band) released yet.” 

The start of Chin Up Princess, the second song and first released single off the record, reminded me instantly of the band, FEVER333, especially the faster elements of the vocals. Speaking about the single, the band say the song is about “a narcissist whose world falls apart around them as they start to lose everyone and everything close to them due to bad habits and toxic traits.” This is expressed through the lyric “bottle after bottle” , which insinuates the character’s alcohol abuse, and this paints a scene in the listeners head of their narcissism and bad habits. This also links to the entire theme of the EP, consistently showing this character and their struggles with mental health.

The next song, Calling Out, is a call-for-help song. This ties in well with the entire theme of the EP, as it expresses how the character voiced in the previous song needs support.This song could also be considered to inspire self-help and encourage people who may think their voice is unheard, to reach out and ask for help, instead of bottling it up inside. The character however, does have some reservations about opening up, which is shown in the lyrics – “Calling out, hoping you’ll hear me // Calling out, hoping you’ll see me”, which reflects one of the major struggles that people with mental health issues can relate to, which is that opening up is sometimes the hardest thing to do. 


The theme of the EP is continued by the song Anxious State of Mind, where the character finally takes the leap of faith and asks for help. Although the song does start with the lyrics “no-one will ever know, about your nightmares”, showing that the character doesn’t want to speak out, which changes throughout the song,moving into “Don’t ever have to feel alone // No more fighting battles on your own”, showing the character portrayed being offered help and encouragement from the song.

Although instrumental, Set Free is a show of hope and turning point in the EP. The upbeat rhythm of the piece shows a sign of change and a weight being lifted, compared to the darkness and heaviness of the rest of the record.

The final song on the EP, Dayseeker, portrays the change that the character has gone through, via support and getting the help of others.The song starts out saying “Every decision I made was so wrong, I knew it deep down all along” revealing that the character regrets feeling the way they did, and knows that what they did to themselves caused more harm than good. This realisation ties up the end of this character’s journey of narcissism and alcoholism, and thus concludes the EP. The testimony of the character’s development is shown in the bridge, with the lyrics “Changed my mindset, changed my life”, showing how the character’s conscious decision to change their mindset positively influenced their life and helped them become a better person.

All in all, the EP portrays a strong, emotional message. Dream State are doing a brilliant job shedding light on and destigmatizing mental illness, and the struggles that many people face daily. The EP is a reassurance that it’s okay to speak out, and that mental illness is not something to be ashamed of.

Dream State’s newest EP – Still Dreaming – OUT NOW!

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