Canyon City

Song Premiere: Canyon City “Dreams”

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Canyon City

Americana Highways presents this premiere of Canyon City’s song “Dreams,” from their forthcoming album Dear Earth, Love, Moon, due to be released on October 21.  “Dreams” will be released on Augusts 19.  All songs on the album were written, produced, performed and mixed by Canyon City (Paul J. Johnson), it was mastered by Joe Causey of Voyager Mastering.

“Dreams” is Paul Johnson on vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, synths, bass, and background vocals.  Sometimes we need a nudge to keep from spiraling down into despair, maybe more often than we’d like.  This song from Canyon City is a great antidote for fears and worry, to keep in your toolkit for survival, and it’s pretty and thoughtful too.  

“Dreams”—from my upcoming album Dear Earth, Love, Moon—sits in the album sequence as a point of meditation and nostalgia while exploring the elusive space between our best memories and our back-on-Earth realities. I wrote this album to play like a series of pop-folk lullabies from the Moon to the Earth in dedication to my newborn daughter. But I also found the creative process of imagining life from a far-away perspective to be a cathartic tool in my own processing of a changing and troubled world facing immeasurable uncertainties, the top of my mind being the challenges of climate change. In the first verse I’m trying to capture the simple peace of a cool autumn day. It’s kind of a calm place I go to in my head, and something I wanted to recreate and suspend myself in for a while. The second verse starts to zoom farther away, and the motion of the whole song is a sort of drifting into sleep and floating in that in-between space of our imagined places, our memories and our realities.

I wanted this album to lyrically go into challenging places at times, not veering away from a world that is truly struggling to live in harmony with both the power and vulnerability of nature, but I wanted to do that to the backdrop of a disarming soundscape. “Dreams” is more of a “chapter” in the album’s larger story than a lyrical narrative that tackles all this on its own, but I think the song—paired with the instrumental that follows, “Drifting”—is the point where the musical texture of the album most comes into its own. I’m prone to worry spirals in my own life and so I wanted to see if I could make something that can go into those worries alongside a musical environment that comforts in the chaos, the hope being to keep the listener, or maybe just myself, open. — Paul Johnson

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