Comprised of primary members and best friends Brandon Welchez and Charles Rowell, Crocodiles over the course of their five previously released full-length efforts have developed a reputation for scuzzy and swaggering garage rock-leaning psychedelia with decided pop sensibilities; however, the duo’s sixth full-length effort Dreamless is a sonic departure as Welchez and Rowell have moved from a guitar and pedal effects-based sound to an atmospheric mostly synthesizer and piano-based sound.
As the band’s Brandon Welchez explains in press notes “We’ve always been a guitar band and I think we just wanted to challenge ourselves and our aesthetic. It didn’t start as a conscious decision but within the first week Charlie’s mantra became ‘fuck guitars.’ Only one song has zero guitar but in general we tried to find alternatives to fill that space.” Much like its predecessor, Dreamless was recorded in Mexico City and was recorded and produced with friend, occasional bandmate and producer Martin Thulin, who’s also a member of Anika‘s new project Exploded View. Between them, the trio shared instrument duties, with Welchez and Rowell handling the lion’s share of guitar and bass, Thulin and Welchez the live drum work, and Thulin focusing largely on keys. As Charles Rowell notes, “Our relationship with Martin will serve as a pivotal point in our band’s history. On this album Martin continued his efforts to help us take our songwriting and aesthetics to further reaches.”
Interestingly, the album’s title manages to work on both a literal and metaphorical level. “I suffered insomnia throughout the whole session. I was literally dreamless,” Welchez explained in press notes. “The past two years had been fraught with difficulty for us – relationship troubles, career woes, financial catastrophe, health issues. In that pessimistic mindset it was easy to feel as if the dream was over.” And as a result, the album’s first single “Telepathic Lover” possesses a bittersweet ache that comes from the recognition that people are weak, damaged and fucked up, that connection and love may seem like illusions, that life is full of struggle and suffering — and although while jangling, the stripped down approach allows the ache at the heart of the song to be viscerally felt.
The recently released music video features the duo performing the song in an empty studio and was shot on grainy VHS tape but it pulls out to show a couple watching the video, while just behind them they are first passionately in love before viciously and bitterly fighting, leaving behind at least one person to be heartbroken, confused and struggling with lingering ghosts.