Despite its deceiving length—five songs performed in sixteen minutes—Living Room’s debut EP Dream Journal is enormous.
“To me, it’s an album,” says singer and guitarist Scott Fitzpatrick. “The songs were written at a time in my life where there was this big change going on, and it really does run this gamut of all my emotions. Even though it’s short, I got a chance to get all of these things off of my chest that were going through my mind at the time.”
Fitzpatrick wrote the record following the conclusion a four-year relationship, after which his partner completely removed herself from his life. “Imagine your best friend just...gone,” he explains. “I sort of had a hard time dealing with the absence of this person who had meant so much to me for so many years.” When he started having reoccurring dreams about her, Fitzpatrick decided to record them in a journal in an attempt to stop them, but to also understand—and learn from—what his subconscious was saying.
Dream Journal records the process through which Fitzpatrick recovered from the collapse of his relationship, starting with “Falling Asleep Walking”, the record’s first track. “It’s sort of an apology to that person, because I was sort of a grumpy sleeper,” he states about the song, which expresses a sort of sleepy hostility. Fitzpatrick’s guitar tosses and turns against John Nicholls’ kicking chords before they lean obliquely against each other. His cries crackle above above the tussle steered Fred Trumpy’s tumultuous drumming and Kevin Dobbins’ spectral bass.
The final chord of “Falling Asleep Walking” slips into a squeal and swells into “Blue Stars”. “When we wrote it, the whole idea was that the record would flow,” Dobbins states, explaining how “Blue Stars” expresses the disorientation and disillusion that manifests following a breakup, and how “Red Saints”—with its spidery, scampering leads—shows Fitzpatrick emerging from his hole and finding hope in his family and friends. And, despite some second guessing in “Spiral Galaxy Arms”, the closing track “Life Lines” seeks to learn from the entire ordeal. “What really did I learn?” Fitzpatrick asks. “If I can’t learn from this, then why would I go through it all? The last line of the song is, ‘In the motion of these moments, we find right now as we already are,’ basically saying that, in the moment, it all comes back to you, and it’s all really your choice.”
The process of writing Dream Journal not only helped Fitzpatrick navigate a difficult emotional odyssey, but brought Living Room together as a band. “We learn about each other because the songs are so cathartic,” Nicholls admits. “Getting up there and playing our instruments together, or writing new songs that are important to us and help us connect and work through these things, it is definitely therapeutic.”
Living Room has already started writing their follow-up and first full-length; titled Moonchaser, the band intends to pick it up where Dream Journal left off. “Where Dream Journal is about the ending of a relationship,” Fitzpatrick explains, “the songs that we are writing now are about learning all of the things that you can benefit from by being ‘alone.’”
Fitzpatrick, Dobbins, and Nicholls recorded these songs from their apartment at Suburbia, a DIY venue they run in Brooklyn, on a chilly autumn evening. Fitzpatrick sang and played acoustic, Nicholls played electric guitar, and Dobbins filled in background vocals where he saw fit.
"Falling Asleep Walking" and "Blue Stars" appear on Living Room's 2012 record titled Dream Journal. "Moonchaser" and "Physics of Intention" are set to appear on Living Room's anticipated first full-length titled Moonchaser. "I Don't Want to Get Over You" is a cover by the Magnetic Fields; the song originally appeared on the 1999 album 69 Love Songs.
Visit the band's Bandcamp page for more music, including a free download of Dream Journal.
To download these tracks, click on the song titles and download them from the player at SoundCloud.com.
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