“A little bit deadpan, a little bit slacker-rock,” this 4-piece from Vancouver is led by someone who has seen it all and is decidedly over it. With influences ranging from the Feelies to Helium, there’s a nostalgic element to the sound but this synth-backed garage pop band is very much of the present moment, with lyrics rooted in a post-“me too” apocalyptic landscape, contemplating where we go from here? Quite simply, they are bitter songs for bitter times.
Garbage Dreams is a relatively new project led by Adrienne LaBelle (Supermoon, Movieland, Energy Slime, Jay Arner). She has toured extensively with past projects in North America, Europe and Japan, and has graced the stages of renowned festivals such as SXSW, Halifax Pop Explosion, Pop Montreal, and Sappy Fest, to name a few. Most of LaBelle’s previous projects have been bands with consensus-based, collaborative songwriting, but this one is fully her own.
Garbage Dreams’ songs are rooted in deeply personal experiences – they explore abuse, trauma, recovery, and the backlash of trying to fight the powers that be in these troublesome times. Though the underlying themes are heavy, Garbage Dreams is ultimately a hopeful project. Playing these songs live has fostered a sense of community among survivors and allies alike, and ultimately, they are catchy, pop-laden rock songs that tend to get crowds dancing along in a cathartic, sweaty fervour.
With a handful of talented friends helping to round out the live sound, Garbage Dreams has taken shape as a full on live band through a selection of shows in their hometown of Vancouver (Canada), most notably opening for Calpurnia at the end of 2018. They took the show on the road in June of 2019, with a tour around their showcases at Sled Island Festival in Calgary, and they plan to ramp up the live dates in 2020 in anticipation of their debut full-length album which is nearing the end of the writing phase, with plans to record early in 2020.
Writing these songs has been instrumental in LaBelle’s own recovery from past trauma, and performing them live has been one of the most rewarding parts of the process. Finding solidarity amongst strangers and friends through live performance is one of the best ways she has found to remain hopeful in the face of adversity. Garbage Dreams reminds us that the world may be a dumpster fire, but as long as we can still sing about it, there’s room to dream of something better.