Premiere: "Cowboy Pop" Artist Dreamer Boy Drops 'Love, Nostalgia'
Zach Taylor, otherwise known as Dreamer Boy, unpacks a lot of universal human emotions in his first album Love, Nostalgia. Though just released earlier this week, the album has been in the works for a while now. It’s a transparent and romantic look into the powerful emotions that connect us all as human beings; a combination of simple recollections and poetic storytelling that will leave you with a ethereal energy. Taylor and his producer, Bobby Knepper, produced this album in their home over the course of the past year. Making the album at home allowed their creative process to spill over into their every day life.
“Cowboy Pop” is how Dreamer Boy and his team have dubbed the album stylistically—paying tribute to his Nashville roots, while breaking down and redefining what it means to be an artist living in Music City. We caught up with Taylor to talk about the release of the album, his creative process, and what inspires him.
How are you feeling about release day?
I feel full. It has felt so special to hear from some of my closest friends and strangers alike about how their experience has been with the album. I also just feel the freedom that comes with sharing something you’ve worked so hard on creating. It belongs to other people now and not just us, which is surreal. We had a listening party the night the album came out and we set up speakers throughout our house and played it for people all the way through—that moment will be hard to top.
Why the name “Love, Nostalgia”?
The name Love, Nostalgia almost doesn’t even register as two different words anymore for me but that’s probably because I’ve heard the two coupled together for so long now they just feel right together. I think the title is basically the two strongest emotions that fueled the album’s lyrical content. The album is reflective. I wanted the album to feel like a dream you had about a summer years ago. I’ve always had a strong nostalgia bone, so the Dreamer Boy moniker is representative of this romanticizing of reality and the past.
What were your biggest inspirations when working on the album? What kind of headspace were you in when writing the songs?
The people who have been around me are some of the most inspiring people I know, I learned so much through my friends to arrive at this end product of an album. The credit list for Love, Nostalgia would basically include just about everyone I’ve lived with for the past year and half, and so many others who have been around. Another inspiration was running. I started running around this park by our house around the same time we started making the first demos, and throughout the process I would return to my route around the park to listen, process, and come up with ideas for the record. I would learn something new about the album every time I would go for a run. Lastly—the sunset and the summer. It’s this intense, blurry, brief period of time—and then it’s gone. Incredible—the fleeting nature of it all.
What was the creative process of making the album? What was it like making it at home surrounded by your friends?
Bobby Knepper, the producer behind Love, Nostalgia and I moved into the same house in June 2017 and we made the first demos for the album and had a rough draft of the record in August 2017. It was an intense summer, we basically had the whole album written. Over the next year we dove into each song and let the world of each song grow on us—production ideas and general sound started to get developed as we spent more and more time with each one. Bobby and I would spend 2-3 weeks just with one of the songs. We would tediously make changes, revisions, and versions that ended up being scrapped. Each song felt like a project. It was amazing—I had never taken this much time to explore a song, and I think it benefited the album as a whole. Creative process outside of music comes from the whole team living in the same house and it felt like working on the album became a part of everyday life.
What does this album mean to you?
To me, this album means growth. The album will forever symbolize making something special with my closest friends. I’ve learned so much through this and it’s amazing that we have something to show for it.
What do you want people to feel when listening to your album?
I want people to dream, and I want people to connect with the world. I want people to feel inspired to create themselves. I just want people to understand that they can do this, too.
What is next for you after this album?
We want to make more videos, tell more stories, create more experiences. It’s really endless. I want to use whatever platform comes from this to lift others up. I can’t wait. More specifically we want to quit our jobs and tour and meet people all around the world.
A quote from Bobby Knepper, producer of “Love, Nostalgia”:
“My biggest anxiety with this album was that it is an album and not just a bunch of singles. I don’t really produce singles or push beats — I feel like I can only operate on a functional level creatively when there is a larger context to the work, whether it be a full album, an EP, scoring a movie, whatever. And yet people seem to be listening top to bottom, and really eating it up. It’s been super encouraging.
Through the creation of this album, Zach and I discovered so much about ourselves and about why we’ve both always been drawn to making music. We developed a really special friendship. Music is cool because you can take something that is bound to time and make it timeless. It lets you take experiences and feelings that seem so fleeting and so specific to you and make them available to other people. I think this is true for all art — it’s a form of translation. I think the biggest thing for me is when I finally have the music sounding like what I’ve been hearing in my head, and I show it to someone else and recognize that they’re now feeling it too. I think that’s the biggest thing.”
Images courtesy of Adam Alonzo
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