Relentless Beats

Don’t Sleep on ‘In My Dreams’ by SWARM & I-Exist

With an extensive discography in recent years as well as several releases on Kannibalen Records in 2019, SWARM has quickly captured the hearts, minds, and souls of countless listeners throughout the world. In his latest release, “In My Dreams,” SWARM teams up with the innovative duo, I-Exist. Comprised of Brian Lenington (lead vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist, and cellist) and Cameron Bailey (drummer and backup vocalist), I-Exist has been blurring the lines between metal, alternative, and electronica for more than a decade. This, of course, makes them prime candidates for a collaboration with Brandon Carroll, the man better known as SWARM.

In the intro, we are met by an ominous melody, faded vocals, an evolving atmosphere, and an undeniable sense of curiosity, as we have no idea what to expect – and yet, we love it. One could dwell in this intro for an eternity, and it still wouldn’t be long enough. In mere moments, however, we are launched into the first verse, where the vibrant vocals of I-Exist tell the tale of this instant classic.

SWARM then summons a dark and distorted bass to accompany the kick drum. Soon, the track begins to build. The lyrics get darker, the orchestration quickens, and the two entities intertwine – collectively forming an incredible build before what promises to be an unbelievable drop. Lenington lures us closer to the climax, “It’s not you, it’s definitely me / Your paper sailboat swallowed by the sea. I’d love to play pretend in your songs but… / in my dreams… in my dreams your gone.”

The first drop is, of course, phenomenal. Right before the beat comes in, we are given a glimpse of the promised land, as a heavenly harmony serenades us for a split second. Then, in the blink of an eye, a dark wave comes crashing down – pouring a pitch-black evil force into the depths of our very souls. In the darkness, one can’t help but believe that this arrangement is a direct manifestation of the lyrics, as what could have been a beautiful moment is instantly purged of all hope and goodness. Almost instantly, SWARM took us from heaven to hell, and his sea of agony swallowed our paper sailboat. In the midst of this demonic drop, SWARM and I-Exist maintain their masterful fusion of metal and EDM. When listening closely, one can hear an electric guitar and rock drums amidst the pandemonium; not to mention the chopped-up vocals and occasional wailing above, which further amplify the suffering and unrest throughout the rest of this drop.

As if this wasn’t enough, SWARM extends the drop with an entirely different second half. In it, we have brand-new basses and synthesizers, evolutions of the EDM elements that were already in effect, a faster, heavier drum pattern, higher notes on top, a looping “In my dreams you’re gone” vocal sample, and so much more. This next-level energy clearly indicates that we are spiraling deeper and deeper into the sea of misery. An absolute workhorse, SWARM doesn’t stop there. In the second verse, I-Exist returns to center stage with a few new lines, this time, however, something is different. As the verse progresses closer and closer to the drop, we hear an unfamiliar high note chirping in the background. In the final moments of the build, the chirping grows louder and quicker, leaving us practically clueless as to what we should expect when the beat comes back. The same drop from before? Something entirely different? In his orchestration, SWARM proudly answers, “How about a mind-blowing combination of the two?”

The second drop begins with a brand-new sequence of sounds. With bright, vibrant synths on top and dark, growling bass below, it’s as though we’re walking the fine line between salvation and damnation. The beat, meanwhile, is broken and irregular. To go from the chaos of the first drop to this uplifting yet confusing paradise, perhaps we are wading our way through the sea of agony. Maybe we have finally caught a glimpse of light and are now pursuing it with everything we have left in this life. If so, then one can’t help but imagine that each beat of the drums is a pitch-black patch of ice-cold water, attempting to drag us back down. On the other hand, each break between them is a life-saving breath of fresh air – a moment of bliss, filled with hope and light, as reflected by the airy, happy, and practically dancing synths above.

Then, just when we think our heads are finally above water, SWARM plunges us into the deepest, darkest, and deadliest depths yet. The bass is angrier, the light is gone. In the final chapter of the second drop, the drums stomp on our hearts, the basses blast us with all their fury, and the wailing synth on top adds an overwhelming sense of doom.

To say that SWARM gave this song everything he had would be an understatement. The precision, diligence, and excellence that he delivered throughout this anthem is simply exemplary. Likewise, I-Exist was a perfect addition to the track. Their metal elements, emotional vocals, and multi-genre style took this tune to the next level. Suffice it to say, “In My Dreams” by SWARM and I-Exist is an absolute masterpiece.

Connect with SWARM: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

Connect with I-Exist: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud

Show Comments