Dream Version hypothesizes that Kurt Cobain spent thirty minutes a week folding laundry, and their mission is to remind you of that idea. Arriving in a poppy Trojan Horse, they’re here to blitz the romantic myth of the countercultural rock ‘n’ roll icon with an abrasive mix of candid introspection and wry detail. Since they formed in 2013, Dream Version has consistently reminded their hometown of Chicago that we’re all human and none of us heroes.
Their first album Beginners was a melodic exploration of anxiety, tackling adulthood and career life with equal earnestness and irony in the tradition of Blur’s The Great Escape and the best satirical work of The Kinks. Singles from the album, including “Romance” and “Hard of Hearing,” earned the band a lot of attention around Chicago, including a spot on Best of 2015 lists from CHIRP Radio and Chicago Mixtape, and nods from Deli Magazine and Midwest Action.
On their second album Fight Fair, the band focuses on their own inconsistent devotion to their ideals. With quirky, cerebral songs, Alec Jensen, frontman and songwriter, admits his privileged point of view, and the band collectively face palms when confronted with their own idleness vs. world injustices. As Jensen admits, he sees evil around him that needs to be fought, but a cocktail of poisonous psychological ingredients prevents him from ever taking action: a guilty Protestant’s need to focus on addressing the evil in himself, the empathetic drive to understand and even love evil people, and the need to simply get through his own day. The result is a detailed account of the psychological slapstick that turns a wannabe protester into a mere frustrated bystander.
With continuing inspiration from The Kinks, but an added dose of punk aggression from The Fall and Wire, Fight Fair is urgent and complex, but easily accessible. Dream Version plans to tour again this summer directly after the album’s release at Lincoln Hall on July 8, and will be offering their tunes on vinyl for the first time.
10 Best Albums to Stream Now, week of 7/7/17: "Chicago trio Dream Version specializes in sharp-cornered, highly erudite rock that brings to mind horn-rimmed glasses and sticker-covered college radio studios." - Rolling Stone
"Lyrically, these songs are incredibly poignant... Musically, these songs are catchy as hell." - Midwest Action
“Pop music with a very interesting and arty twist." - Richard Milne, WXRT Chicago
"...Insanely tight hooks made for smart people who want to think and dance." - The Revue
"The world needs Dream Version... a punk soundtrack to shout along to, a band to be boldly their own and encourage us to lift our fists in the fight." - The Grey Estates
"Amazing album just released by Chicago band Dream Version. Whip-smart, ultra-satisfying, right on fucking time" - Ezra Furman
"The riffs are pretty jagged/angular, knifing their way through the mix while synthesizers fade in and out of the background... elevating the group beyond your standard fare of modern indie heroes." - Austin Town Hall
Best of 2015 - CHIRP Radio and Chicago Mixtape
"Dream Version delivered a nonstop set full of positive vibes, sticky, sing-along choruses, and groovy bass lines." - Rachel Zyzda, ANCHR Magazine