Song of the Day: “The Dream Synopsis”

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Today we’ll be finishing up our week-long look at just a few out of the many side projects, collaborations, and supergroups out there. But first, a little recap for those just now tuning in.

We started off the week by looking at “Leave It In My Dreams”, by The Voidz, the side project of Julian Casablancas of The Strokes. Then we checked out “Whiteout Conditions” by the Canadian supergroup The New Pornographers, before looking at “The High Road” by Broken Bells.

Today, we’ll wrap up the week with a look at one more supergroup, The Last Shadow Puppets, from the UK, and their song “The Dream Synopsis”.

The Last Shadow Puppets

The Last Shadow Puppets is an English supergroup that released their debut album, “The Age of the Understatement” in 2008, which went straight to No. 1 on the UK album chart.  They consist of Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Miles Kane (The Rascals, solo artist), James Ford (Simian, Simian Mobile Disco), and Zach Dawes (Mini Mansions).

After their first album, The Last Shadow Puppets took a few years off before coming back with their sophomore release. “Everything You’ve Come to Regret” was released in 2016 on Domino Records. Along with the album, The Last Shadow Puppets released four singles: “Bad Habits”, “Aviation”, “Miracle Aligner”, and “Everything You’ve Come to Regret”.

While the song we’re going to look at today wasn’t one of the singles, it’s still one of the more interesting tracks from the album.

The Dream Synopsis

Since this week we’ve gotten a bit carried away with our song analyses, we’ll try to keep this discussion a little more concise. Even so, we’ll still be using the same methods that we’ve been using to try and unravel as much of the mystery and meaning behind the lyrics as we can.

As the song’s title suggests, the lyrics of “The Dream Synopsis” consist of the recounting of a dream. Since we know that dreams are powered by our subconscious, and symbolism is the language that speaks directly to the subconscious, we can try to extract meaning by examining the symbolism used in the lyrics.

As always, we’ll start at the beginning, and try and work our way through as much as possible. So let’s take a look at the context set within the first few lines of the first verse.

“Well we were kissing
It was secret
We’d had to sneak beyond the kitchen
Both well aware that there’d be trouble
If the manager should find us”

Due to how the lyrics of the rest of the song play out, I’d like to suggest that in the first verse, we get a recounting of a memory, rather than a random dream. The interpretation I’m suggesting is that this is a song about a lost relationship. And dreaming about the happy moments after a failed relationship is a common practice, especially if the ending of said relationship was not mutual.

More Lyrics

In the next section of the song, the memory dissolves away, as dream logic takes over.

“And a wicked gale came howling up through
Sheffield City Centre
There was palm tree debris everywhere and a Roman Colosseum
Isn’t it boring when I talk about my dreams”

Here we get a few interesting clues. After the context set by the first verse, we can safely assume that the this section represents the previously happy relationship falling apart. The “wicked gale” that comes howling through symbolizes destruction, loss, and change.

The reference to Sheffield City Centre, could be more memories bleeding over, maybe referring to the place where the final fight that broke the relationship took place. Furthermore, the third line references a “Roman Colosseum” a structure symbolic of both historic greatness and failure.

The last line in this stanza pulls us out of the dream synopsis, and reveals a self-consciousness about sharing any of it. A self-consciousness that was either revealed after the breakup, or what the narrator sees as the cause of it.

One final stanza we’ll look at fits in as the final piece that connects the previous two together.

“Visions of the past and possible future
Shoot through my mind and I can’t let go
Inseparable opposing images
When can you come back again?”

The visions of the past bring us back to the beginning of the song, where we’re given the context of a couple’s happy memory. The “inseparable opposing images” are where the good memories meet the dreams of loss. Finally, the last line reveals the truth, the pain, and the longing that fueled the dreams to arrive in the first place.

That concludes our discussion for today. Next week, we’ll be back with another collection of songs to pour over.

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