A guided ASMR meditation defines the blissed-out beauty of Mimi Novic & David Courtney’s soothing soulful “Dream House: The Journey”. The tactile quality of the album is astounding for no detail is overlooked. Her incredible voice and presence tie the whole of the album together, making every piece a chapter in an ever-growing narrative. Exploration is of the essence for the way the many items are treated with such care adds to its centering presence. Beyond this the arrangements work to emphasize the spirit of her voice: patient and kind, caring and compassionate, the vocals prove to be the very beating heart. Instrumentally too they bring together a whole slew from the electronic to the organic, always blurring the difference between the two.
Stylistically they weave together elements of drone, ambient, classical and more into a coherent cohesive whole. The ambient bliss alongside the environmental effects draw from the Future Sound of London’s beautifully textured “Lifeforms” for, like them, they meld the natural and artificial worlds into something uniquely their own. Beyond this, the luxurious droning effects that bring to mind entire symphonies incorporate lessons learned from Stars of the Lid, particularly their ability to seemingly suspend sound in a way that reveals their multi-faceted sculpted atmosphere.
The mood is set on the contemplative opener “Welcome to Dream House”. Small yet meaningful rhythms rustle on through from time to time, adding to the cyclical nature of the piece. Glowing keys waft into the fray on the psychedelic “Garden of Truth”. Within these many layers a whole multitude of influences appear. Pieces of vaporwave’s synth obsession emerge on here, again with her fragile voice exploring the beauty of the world, the flowers, the fragrance, and how they are seemingly one. By far the most defiant piece comes from the soulful sense of “Forest of Fear”. Her guidance works wonders effortlessly blending with the fragility of the strings that ebb and flow through, giving it a comforting quality.
Elegant stately melodies radiate over the course of the sweeping “Land of Broken Dreams”. Here her careful ASMR vocals feel rather perfect, for the smallest elements further accentuate the magnificence of her words. Wordless vocals strength the sheer luxury of “Valley of Voices”. Here the small details regarding the groove lend it a slight nudge towards a more rock-oriented presence, even bringing in little flourishes of prog rock into the fray. Neatly bringing the whole of the journey to a finale is the epic sprawling ballad of “Call of the Soul”.
Mimi Novic & David Courtney sculpts a peaceful sonic journey with the lovely washes of sound found on “Dream House: The Journey”.