There is something comforting and reassuring about a band that plays it incredibly safe and doesn’t try to do anything exciting with their music. A statement that you don’t often hear but it is nevertheless one you can hold onto if you’re constantly bombarded with an onslaught of different sounds each day. It becomes relaxing to put on an advance album and quite literally be greeted by the sound of children playing and the delicate strumming of an acoustic guitar – this is how Pipe Dream open their EP The Oak.
The Oak is one of those EPs that you can put on after a long day and relax to. The band draws its influence from the likes of Switchfoot and The Fray so you can pretty much expect the EP to consist of lofty yet upbeat alt-pop melodies. If those were your expectations, it does not fail to disappoint. “Atmosphere” is your typical alt-pop song with the upbeat strumming of an acoustic guitar, the upbeat kick drum in the background and a delicate piano medley. The vocals seem to weave perfectly in and out of the song’s fluctuating tempo.
“Boston” is practically a replica of “Atmosphere”, albeit the kick drum is no longer as present on the song and the piano medley is more prominent here. Once again, the vocals are somehow able to perfectly match the melodic nature of the music in such a way that you can just tell that they’re natural and genuine. “Carry Me Back Home” is continued in a similar fashion of being soaked in melody yet is a much more upbeat song compared to its predecessor and draws the EP to a fittingly melancholic yet sanguine end with the words “Yeah I’m just a man but I’m alright.”
To say that Pipe Dream are an exciting new band would be to lie through my teeth, but despite the obvious lack of originality to their music, they still impress me as they operate like a finely oiled machine. They deliver upbeat melancholic tracks that provide gentle relief to ears that have otherwise been pounded by heavy bass riffs and guttural screams.