Mike Wilken and Ethan Rose arrived at their mutual musical ends in very different ways, but passion unites them. It isn’t just as a passion for performer and the potential fame that might result. Instead, it’s joined by a passion for creating something together that’s greater than themselves and self-expression. Through the last two things, Wilken and Rose hold fast to an undying belief that establishing a personal connection with their audience enhances the lives of everyone involved. The seven songs on their self-titled debut prove that abundantly. These are compositions with all-around depth – there is a wealth of musical beauty here, but there’s lyrical and vocal beauty as well. The cuts are woven with a confident hand and there’s always an ear turned towards keeping the various strains as balanced as possible. Possessing a well defined lyrical message aids them considerably – the songs of We The Dreamers speak to our personal experiences with clarity and empathy.
We are brought into their world quite nicely with the EP’s first track. “Crystal” certainly sounds and plays like a carefully wrought tune, but there’s plenty of life in its imaginative swirl of guitars and electronic instruments. Myke Wilken’s singing voice is perfect for the material. He has some interesting upper register territory, but it isn’t so far on the end of that scale that his vocals sound removed from every day experience. It’s the immense soulfulness he employs on a song like this that helps set it apart from the rest. “Parasol” has much more going on sonically than the first song and noticeably picks up the pace. There’s a much brighter hue to the instrumentation on “Parasol”, in some ways a natural by-product of the faster tempo, and Wilken’s vocal capitalizes on that with an emotive singing performance channeling his best pop music instincts. There are exceptions, but We The Dreamers typically opt for a compositional approach to the guitar work and Ethan Rose’s playing here is among the EP’s best.
There’s an unknown female vocalist showing off her talents during the first quarter of “A Spark” and intermittently rising from the mix thereafter. Wilken, however, dominates much of this understated track and his own hushed vocal never lacks for emotion. It’s a more artistically ornate piece of music than the next song, “Strawberry Dream”. The latter places the guitar in a much larger role than before and brings acoustic and electric together in a nearly perfect balance. The lyrics are full of personalized imagery and the melodies threaded throughout the song make it all the more memorable. One of the most fully realized tracks cut in the mold of the band’s stated purpose, “Wiser”, benefits as from an enlightened lyric reaching far beyond their years while still speaking to anyone, regardless of age. The mix between electronic and analog instruments is stunning. The last track on the EP and its first single “Time” does everything “Wiser” does, but with greater artistic distinction and speaks to a subject listeners can connect with even more. We The Dreamers have discovered a potent formula for long term artistic and, potentially, commercial success and haven’t compromised a second. Their latest EP will impress anyone who comes across it.