Shatter Wick video by Sender’s Dream is releasing today! It’s a full band sound, with a story and a dream quality. A nice break for your day and you can learn more about the band below and catch their virtual single release party tonight.
Sender’s Dream is a duo of Dan Hylton and Pat Gibbons. They have enjoyed musical success together and on their own journeys. The music and their videos are creative and engaging. At a time when there are so many demands on our time and attention – this music make you stop and pause, like an in-head sabbatical. Also I want to thank them for taking the time to answer some of our questions:
You and Pat have played music separately and together in lots of permutations. What drives or inspires the music of Sender’s Dream?
Dan: Honestly, a lot of it is the freedom that comes from not being a live band. With Southern Resident Killer Whales, when I’m writing or introducing a song, there’s an ever-present concern of “How are we gonna pull THAT off on stage? How many instruments is it going to require (there’s only four of us!) What kind of sounds can Brian (our lead guitarist) fake with his pedals? Even when recording, there’s always some sense that we want to ensure we have some reasonable hope of being able to recapture the sound on a stage. But Sender’s Dream is really our chance to “Sgt Pepper” things up. Whatever works for a song, we can do it. Orchestration, like on Shatter Wick or “Orange Afternoon?” Sure! Flugelhorn? (“Mitchell’s Art”) Bring it on! It’s immensely freeing, in terms of arrangement. All the years I’ve made music I think I’ve wanted a musical outlet like this. And it’s kind of wild, since I would say I don’t necessarily think “This is a Sender’s Dream song” vs “This is a Southern Resident Whales song” It’s more – what’s going to happen once it hits one creative process versus another would dramatically change the form a song would take.
Tell us about Deck to Deck. The prescience of the remote-video format is impressive.
Dan: Ha! Glad you’ve seen some of those. Our approach to this whole project has been a playful one, but also one with a little intent – dipping our toes into the water of actually trying to establish an identity of the Sender’s Dream duo as something a little…offbeat? Almost exotic. These two guys who are – where – Milan? Austria? Sipping their coffee, communicating across the miles in this sophisticated, cultured, and almost mysterious manner. The concept is rather hilarious to us, but also we hope conveys a certain cohesive feel about our whole identity. We have no idea how it is perceived in actuality, but feedback like “impressive” is nice to hear! Honestly, we’ve been toying around with REALLY leaning into the concept and maybe dispensing with our actual identities altogether. Fake bio with fantastical origin story. Running our promo verbiage through a few Google translators till it definitely doesn’t sound like English is our first language. The works. No idea whether that would help or hinder the music promotion, but it sounds super fun.
How did you originally get to Shatter Wick? (What is the inspiration of such a place?)
Pat (who wrote the words): I liked the arrival at the end of the song- there needed to be a place – the original version of the lyric wasn’t as specific – It struck me that there was a “point.” So the place needed to be somewhat romantic – it could be almost anywhere – the English countryside to the inside gatefold of a Doors album- Shatterwick also recalls the candle – how suspect they are to breezes and winds and movements of air
Your songs are rooted in stories, dreamlike stories, but there is a narration.
Pat (speaking specifically of Shatter Wick): There’s a bit in there that was inspired by a real life Sender’s Dream adventure. Dan was down visiting and we were driving aimlessly around and found ourselves inside a very strange store of sorts- I’m pretty sure it existed (Dan adds: it existed) – had some very odd toys – nostalgic – and if I remember right – some cases of warm cheap beer.
Dan asks Ann: Curious if you are detecting a narration in all the songs you’ve heard, or Shatter Wick, specifically? I think that is the only one where I would say that it is pure narrative intent. “Orange Afternoon” and “The Go Ahead” are both sorta more like self-help books. But I think “dreamlike” as a consistent element is a fair observation. Maybe somehow that’s related to the whole “Sender’s Dream as an entity blurring the lines between what’s real and fanciful” concept I was talking about earlier. An interesting theory. And possibly subconsciously what’s going on.
Which comes first as you collaborate? The lyrics, the music, an image?
Dan: It varies quite a bit by song, and songwriter. But we can speak specifically to “Shatter Wick,” which is different than any of the other songs Sender’s Dream has recorded yet in that Pat wrote the words and I wrote the music, though he may have been playing some loose approximation of the chord progression early on. I’m guessing it was images or specific experiences that became the lyrics first, right Pat?
Pat: The genesis of Shatterwick was in Minneapolis on Johnson Street (Dan adds: our entire band rented a house on Johnson street in Northeast) When it was cold and I had a Ford Escort. Originally called “The Point is a Big Round Ball (and I Don’t See It)”. But it all started with the line, “ I fell in the street and scuffed my hands.” That and the frightening image of the gnashing teeth of God
It hurts more to scuff your hands in the cold.
But when God’s teeth come a chomping you got to keep going.
Dan: And I think he may have been playing an “F / C / G” chord progression on guitar. Not really with a melody I recall or marrying it to the words in much of a way. But I immediately latched onto it all and had various musical threads inventing themselves in my head. I held onto that for years, but for some reason it took Pat refining the poem at a much later date before I felt like it was ready to truly “produce” and bring to the studio.
What are your plans for the summer? More music? Opportunities to see you online and off?
Dan: Well, we’re nearing completion on a song called “The Blackheath Pedestrian” as we speak, so there will be a song release and music video release…maybe?….this summer? But that would be moving a little faster than we typically do, so more likely into the fall. And of course, as I mentioned earlier – there’s a chance we’re gonna start really leaning into a total obfuscation of our actual identities and let the myth of Sender’s Dream run wild. In such circles as people give a damn, anyway.