Dreamchild – Music of Ethereal Nightmares and Fever Dreams

27 Jul

11754255_904197866307554_250902318859269543_n                                Photo by Cheryl Fair Photography

Cheryl Wanner and Frank Gerace have gone by the name Dreamchild since the late 90’s when they released their first album titled “Gates to the Sea”.

Dreamchild hail from Massachusetts USA and they have a unique music style.

After listening to four of their albums I have to warn you that listening to just one of them wouldn’t do them any justice.

R-1851671-1247828454.jpegIn the four albums I have in my possession they deal with four different realities distilled through their own absinthecal music taste:

La Fée Verte” is a 15 track album released in 2000 that takes the listener to a world where the shadows have fun with the green fairy playing 14 original tracks and deconstructing the Beatles song “Cry Baby Cry”.

Four years later, in 2004, Dreamchild returned with the album “Lullabies for the Dead”.

In 16 tracks, Dreamchild sing the characters of the album back to life: Ethereal nightmares and fever dreams about Orphee, Salome, Frida Kahlo, The Lady of the Lake, and Morgana Le Fay, as well as “La Belle Dame Sans Merci”, a musical setting for stanzas from John Keats’s haunting poem with additional in French.

R-1251452-1203857773.jpegWith strong touches of folk “Lullabies for the Dead” sounds like the band left pixie-land to successfully flirt with the macabre.

In 2008 Wanner and Gerace released their Grand Guignol-esque double album “Sleeping Flowers Severed, Scream of Slaughter”.  An album made of humal skulls and lilies. Completely different from the two releases I mentioned above.

On the first disc there is a medieval atmosphere while Diamanda Galás influence can sometimes be traced in Wanner’s performance. Dreamchild also work on a poem by 19th century esoteric poet Fiona Macleod/William Sharp, the Love Aria from Samson & Delilah by Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns, Ave Maria, Lady MacBeth’s sleepwalking scene from the Scottish Play by W. Shakespeare, and they close with a song about Lizzie Borden.

dreamchild 3 0012Things are different on the 13 tracks of the second CD as the medieval atmosphere gives way to a modern one.

Here they cover Peter Gabriel’s “Here Comes the Flood”, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” (originally by Bauhaus), Georges Bizet, Elliot Goldenthal (winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2002 for his score to the motion picture Frida…) and Hernán Bravo Varela.

The latest Dreamchild album “Le Cabaret de L’Enfer” took its name after a Parisien Hell-themed café on the Boulevard de Clichy no. 54 (Moulin-Rouge is at no. 82).  It opened in the late 19th century and operated till the mid 20th…

On the cover, Wanner and Gerace look like two of the customers of the café. Maybe like two musicians that were playing for the customers’ amusement.  I’ll risk to say that “Le Cabaret de L’Enfer” is the most “down to Earth” album of Dreamchild.

Dreamchild 4 0011As they did on their previous albums, the drums are used on 2-3 out of the 12 original tunes.

This time, they do three very interesting covers: 1) on Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” 2) on “La Llorona” (a traditional song about a the story of a woman said to haunt the valleys of Mexico, weeping for her children whom she drowned in a fit of madness), and finally 3) on Nico’s “Janitor of Lunacy”.

A big number of different instruments were used on these four albums: Wire-strung harp, bass, kalimba, harpsichord, zils, assorted percussion, pedal harp, oboe, and keyboards played by singer Cheryl Wanner. All VG-99 and VG-8 guitars, bass, electric and acoustic guitars by Frank Gerace.

Sometimes in French, sometimes in Spanish, but basically in English, Dreamchild is a project that you should try at least once.  For sure you will never forget them…

For more of Dreamchild’s music, click HERE to visit their website…

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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Goth


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