It’s fitting that a rock band should meet at Donington, the site long-hallowed as the home of heavy music. The majority of South Wales’ Dream State – guitarist Aled Rhys Evans, bassist Danny Rayer and drummer Jamie Lee – met at Download Festival in 2012, bonding over a shared love of Alexisonfire, Marmozets and A Day to Remember. Drummer Jamie had known vocalist CJ Gilpin at college, and upon her finishing a course in Commercial Music at university, the drummer contacted her about coming to try out.
Recovery deals with the different stages of her “issues with addiction and being “[her] own worst enemy” as well as the mental health implications of it – topics she’s more comfortable discussing through music than in interviews. Recovery can actually be viewed as a concept EP, given that its five songs chronologically deal with an ongoing situation that CJ says “makes every day a bit of a battle.
The path towards a new beginning is examined by the EP’s last two tracks, with Solace explicitly about the little voice in your head that pairs vulnerability with strength, that “tells you that it’s okay to cry and to let go and not be afraid, and also to accept and be strong. This is the voice that constantly battles the devil on my shoulder,” says CJ, and New Waves is an exercise in glorious catharsis, where the single proudly lets go of those old ways and beats that devil to the ground.
As a whole piece of work Recovery is an important record: a British band with a fresh, excitable sound exploring a young person’s perspective on the many facets of a very misunderstood topic. From here, the story will only unfold further.