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Dreambook | photo courtesy of the artist

Local shoegaze outfit Dreambook is back with a new LP, but the news is bittersweet. Hidden Underneath will be Dreambook’s last release, according to a statement the band shared with us. The album releases Sept. 29, but you can listen to it on Bandcamp now.

Dreambook has been floating around the Philly scene for awhile. The fourpiece — made up of Jim Anderson, Rachel Wetzel, Jeremy Gewertz, and Ray Keenan — began by writing songs together in 2011 without any intention of sending them out into the world, and went through a few iterations before settling into their current lineup. They eventually recorded their first LP, Only Shadows, released in 2013, and went on to play with bands from The Morelings to True Widow to Rainer Maria. Dreambook’s last release was the 2015 EP Burn the Light Out.

Dreambook then headed into the studio to record Hidden Underneath, but during the process life events forced the members into hiatus and they eventually decided to dissolve the band. They won’t be playing any shows in support of this release, but what matters to Dreambook is that it’s out there for us to listen to. Singer/guitarist Rachel Wetzel explains the band’s decision in a statement below:

“Sometimes life gets in the way and we stumble aimlessly, clinging to a thread to suspend us in the place we feel we should belong. That lifeline can often seem thin and flimsy, but it manages to tie together the parts and anchor us just enough to allow the dangling pieces to move kinetically. All of the moving parts of Dreambook culminated into the final full length album, titled Hidden Underneath. Its sound and subject matter are heavier than the previous recordings, while still maintaining a balance of hard and soft between the two vocalists and the instruments.

We sat on this record for some time hoping for the pieces to fall back into place but they never did. Still the idea of just abandoning this ship seemed out of the question. We are happy to share these songs with you and if you came to one of our shows, you likely saw us play all of these tracks live at some point. If you ever stood in the audience, shared a stage with us, helped us record, got us out of town shows, wrote us a review, etc., it is with our sincerest thanks for your support during our time as a band. Much gratitude to the club venues & promoters and especially the DIY music scene here in Philly for giving us a safe space to share our voice. Without all of you there would be none of this.”

Though we won’t be hearing more Dreambook in the future, Hidden Underneath is certainly a great way for a band to go out. The hard work and dedication to their craft each of the members poured into the making of the album is evident in the heaviness of its deep and melodic tracks. Hidden Underneath burns slowly but relentlessly, full of the carefully measured dark and dreamy sound Dreambook has come to be known for — a remarkable final offering from a band that has carved out their place in the scene over these last few years. Hidden Underneath‘s release date also marks Wetzel’s 3-year “cancerversary” — the artist overcame stage 3 colon cancer in 2014.

Dreambook’s members aren’t disappearing from music entirely, and you might find them in new acts around town — Wetzel plays in Aster More,who have upcoming shows at Boot & Saddle and Everybody Hist, and Keenan plays in U.S. Lawns.

Stream Hidden Underneath in full below.

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