Day & Dream’s Entrancing New Single is a Balm for These Times

The newly remastered/remixed mood piece by Day & Dream is a lounge-laced dreampop paean to the comforts (and terrors) of home, of routine, and of the familiar

There is a measure of hazy psychedelia at play in the follow-up single by Day & Dream. And sure, maybe that’s a rote observation to make, but every act that trades in Stereolab-style delicateness can either mime the idioms mindlessly—and just be another forgettable actor in a revolving door of forgettable actors—or be a spirited torchbearer with intent and purpose. In other words, a spirited torchbearer with soul.

And as spirited torch-bearing goes, “Cabin Fever” is aces: sweet but with spunk, moody but not drearily so. Abby Amaya’s singing is fodder for deep-sleep trance, and Peter Frizzante’s musical direction is, as always, a masterclass in restraint.

The comparisons are a mixed bag—journos overseas have name-checked Lush, Mazzy Star, Real Estate, Warpaint, The Sundays—but, also, a shared consensus: the Asheville, NC dream-pop duo churn some of the most blissful, entrancing music that pushes the envelope in sound craft.

“Cabin Fever,” for all its inward-gazing and introspection, was actually written pre-pandemic. Basic tracks (Abby’s keys and vocals, Peter’s beats and guitar) were tracked at the couple’s home studio Fuzzy Forest, with bassist Erik Jan tracking at his own home, and Beto Planta mixing and mastering virtually via Argentina. “Even though everyone was in their own homes, it was great to still collaborate and create something in isolation,” the band shares.

The track is fairly self-referential and titularly literal, depicting a situation where, despite the comforts of routine and the familiar, “a craziness to the constant repetition” and a “dizzy and crazed mental state” can set in. But rather than paint a constricting picture, Day & Dream went for the chill-lounge route. Home, after all, is still home, come hell or high water.

“Cabin Fever,” this way, is a great attempt to marry form and content, and then tilt them on their heads. Despite the idyllic, blissful offerings of the predictable, it does get numbing: “Up a million degrees / She’s got just what you need / You always smell like the trees / Infect me like a disease.”

On top of all this, it’s great how the mix treats all elements as texture, as landscape, as an everything-there-is proposition that doesn’t live or die by the vocal. Mood piece, you say? Well, here it is.

Spin “Cabin Fever” today. An equally moody accompanying video, as well as a tasty remix by celebrated electro duo Sweet Trip — whose founder Roby Burgos used to be bandmates with Abby—are also expected to drop today.

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