Review – White Moth Black Butterfly – The Cost of Dreaming

After their lauded 2017 album ‘Atone‘, White Moth Black Butterfly return with their new studio album ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘.

Created by Daniel Tompkins, the collaborative project features a team of songwriters & producers based worldwide, all at the height of their own scenes. Collaborating with Tompkins are New-Delhi based Skyharbor songwriter and producer Keshav Dhar; US based producer and string arranger Randy Slaugh, drummer Mac Christensen and the line up is completed by ethereal vocals of UK singer & lyricist Jordan Turner.

Daniel Tompkins explains why he sees White Moth Black Butterfly and ‘The Cost Of Dreaming‘ representing the dichotomy between peace and conflict within a life full of chaos. “Our new album ‘The Cost of Dreaming’ is something we feel just about every human being on the planet that’s been affected by life changing disruption will relate strongly to. Our nature is to always be planning, dreaming about an ideal future in which we will have ticked various boxes that define our ideal lives, often at the cost of the present. And when control over that future is seized away from us and all we are left with is the present, we realise just how much we took for granted. Life is surely a gift to us all throughout which we experience moments of soaring bliss and happiness, and then in a heartbeat sink into states of great trouble and suffering. Often our struggles can serve as momentous opportunities for growth, but the balance of life can often hold us back from seizing the day. We believe that this album is our greatest achievement – it’s an outpouring of love and a cry for help.”

The album is a very clever integration of contemporary pop with the stylistic flourishes of progressive rock and ambient, experimental music. Catchy hooks abound along with lush orchestral notes and edgy keyboard infused electronica. All the songs are short, like perfect little gems of musical wonder, never outstaying their welcome.

The ethereal strains of opener Ether blend perfectly into the harder, staccato notes of Prayer For Rain and this is followed by the gorgeous wistfulness of The Dreamer where Turner’s vocals stand out perfectly.

The exquisitely refined tone of Heavy Heart bleeds melancholic nostalgia and the lush Portals would grace any modern club scene. Use You is deliciously dark, almost malevolent in its sinister delivery and segues seamlessly into the powerful, funky edginess of Darker Days, given added sparkle by Kenny Fong’s glorious saxophone.

The album builds superbly with each track, an audio experience that draws you in piece by piece. Sands of Despair mournfully washes over you with its plaintive vocal and contemplative piano note before the thoughtful mood of Under The Stars grabs you in its embrace, Jordan’s dreamy vocals imbuing a sense of calm serenity. Soma is a super smooth slice of jazz/pop that is as classy a piece of music that you will hear this year and Liberate takes the art of writing contemporary pop muisic to another level.

There’s a insistent demanding feel to Unholy, an anticipation building of something enigmatic and ominous before heartfelt vocals and the addition of Eric Guenther’s keyboards introduce an emotive emphasis to the sumptuous sounds of Bloom. The album closes out with Spirits, a wonderfully uplifting piece of music that continues to resonate long after the final note dies away.

In ‘The Cost of Dreaming’, White Moth Black Butterfly have created an utterly captivating and beautiful collection of songs where nothing has been held back. It contains every piece of their heart and soul and, just as Daniel Tompkins says, it is a perfectly conceived outpouring of love and cry for help, one that I hope everyone takes heed of…

Released 28th May, 2021

Order the album here:

WHITE MOTH BLACK BUTTERFLY (lnk.to)

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