Joe Wong is a Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, who has created the scores for acclaimed TV series like Master of None, Russian Doll, Ugly Delicious, Awkafina is Nora from Queens, and others — and for being host of The Trap Set podcast. Interestingly, Wong will be releasing his full-length debut Nite Creatures this year and the album’s first single is the Man Who Sold The World-era David Bowie-like “Dreams Wash Away.” Featuring an arrangement of shimmering, reverb-drenched guitars, soaring strings, thunderous drumming, a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, Wong’s mellifluous baritone and an enormous hook, “Dreams Wash Away” is an ambitious and cinematic song centered around a hazily lysergic escapism and longing.
The song is featured in the emotional season finale of Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward’s and comedian Duncan Trussel’s Netflix original series, The Midnight Gospel, during the episode’s most emotional and important scene: a heartbreaking and intimate conversation between Trussell and his mother Deneen Fendig, who was dying from metastatic breast cancer at the time of the recording. Trussell describes “Dreams Wash Away” as an atomic blast of mystical sonic light!” And in many ways, the song encapsulates the episodes overarching themes of ego death and coming to terms with mortality — of both yours and that of your loved ones.
The themes of the episode managed resonate very deeply with Wong, whose father died as The Midnight Gospel began production. “This project came into my life at precisely the right time. A few days after our first meeting, Duncan called me to discuss music as I was unexpectedly driving to the airport to say goodbye to my dad. Later, I came to learn that our experiences and philosophies around death mirrored one another. Working with this extraordinary team and writing ‘Dreams Wash Away’ helped me work through the loss.”
Directed by Titmouse, Inc. and edited by Megan Love, the recently released animated video for “Dreams Wash Away” is centered around themes of ego death, mortality, reincarnation, family and love within alien worlds that closely resemble ours. It’s surreal yet gorgeous and heartbreaking simultaneously.