You know that strange, groundless feeling when you first wake up? Before you rush back into your body, before your brain flickers all the way on. For a full five seconds the world is blurry and the dreams are still caught behind your eyes, and you lie there blinking, trying to remember who and where you are. Motoi’s latest release, appropriately titled “Dreaming” captures that feeling. It hones into the slick, hazy space between being asleep and waking up – and it does so with a gentle optimism.
Dreaming/the only way you’ve ever known
The soundscape is floating, expansive, and laidback. It doesn’t change much throughout the piece; there are no musical detours or mind-blowing interludes, but while some may find the style repetitive, I find it deeply comforting. “Dreaming” has a sound that you can trust, that you can crawl up into and rest within. This song is all about atmosphere. It features a compelling team of synths and guitar melodies while the drums keep it grounded. One of the more subtle rhythms in the song creates a clicking sound reminiscent to a ceiling fan, ticking overhead. All of this works together to create a stirring sense of place and ambiance.
Drifting in and out of everything
Although there is certainly something melancholy about this song, it’s far from pessimistic. “Dreaming” feels like cool colors – pale, sweeping blues and crushed violet – silken lavender against a seething aqua. The vocals are largely muffled, which adds to the drifting, unmoored feel to the song. In fact, it seems that the vocals are treated with nearly equal importance to the instrumentals. The instrumental and vocal balance is smoothly blended, so that the vocals work as an additional instrument rather than the center. This mixing choice heightens the blurry, pensive sonic effect.
Dreaming, just let it go
Motoi’s “Dreaming” zooms into the microseconds between dreaming and waking up. It feels like wind against your back. Like standing alone, in the thrumming autumn dark. It’s dream pop at its finest, in turns surreal and visceral. Although Motoi has demonstrated a commitment to detail in his extensive body of work – his collaboration on “Sleepover” with Hayley Kiyoko is a standout – his new track “Dreaming” is less about incisive, interlocking stylings and more about developing a hypnotic, pensive atmosphere. This is a song for late at night and early in the morning: a sleep-soaked anthem for the hours that linger just on the edge of reality.