EXCLUSIVE: Dreamer Boy Chats New Album, Lonestar

Embark on a journey of self-discovery and musical exploration with Dreamer Boy, the enigmatic artist hailing from Nashville. Venturing from the heart of Tennessee to the bustling streets of Los Angeles, Dreamer Boy, born Zach Taylor, found inspiration in the vast landscapes of America, drawing upon his Southern roots to shape his latest album, “Lonestar.” After stacking up successes with his sentimental debut “Love, Nostalgia” and heartfelt sophomore release “All the Ways We Are Together,” Dreamer Boy sought to reconnect with his origins, infusing his music with a renewed sense of authenticity and depth. Teaming up with a diverse array of collaborators, including the likes of Miya Folick, Goldie Boutilier, and fellow Texans Hovvdy, Dreamer Boy crafted an album that transcends genres, blending elements of psychedelia, pop, and Americana into a mesmerizing sonic tapestry. Join us as we delve into the creative process behind “Lonestar” and uncover the stories behind the music with Dreamer Boy himself.

Your album Lonestar seems deeply rooted in your personal experiences and emotional journey. Can you walk us through the process of distilling these experiences into the narrative and sound of the album?

I can explain this process briefly by saying that I went through a breakup and then moved across the country, met and wrote music with completely new collaborators and then ended up centralizing all of that material with a group of some of my best friends who I finished the album with. That’s it in a nutshell. There was a lot of experimenting, making music that just sucked, and soul searching that needed to happen and that just took time and effort. I couldn’t be happier with what I’ve made, it sums up a specific time in my life perfectly. 

The imagery of American landscapes and Southern culture plays a significant role in your music, particularly on tracks like “Summer in America.” How do these landscapes and cultural elements influence your songwriting and creative process?

I think that being on the road naturally feels romantic. I draw from that, and I also just think America as a setting, is naturally chaotic and polarizing. The fact that it’s the backdrop for my youth and all these experiences naturally adds a bit of tension to the undercurrent of anything personal I’m navigating. I think we can all relate to that. Good or bad. I purposefully try not to have an opinion on America on the song, but rather just want to set it up as the setting for the events and emotions on the album.

Your move from Nashville to Los Angeles seems to have had a profound impact on your artistic direction. How did this transition shape the themes and sonic palette of Lonestar?

I think I found myself holding on to the south as a fixture of myself. Being here in LA, and not being from here, I think I naturally needed to hold on to that part of myself. Even, lean more into it than when I was in Nashville.

The concept of a rodeo clown persona is intriguing. How did you develop this character, and what aspects of your own identity does it allow you to explore that you might not have otherwise?

I really loved the idea of having a uniform for the album, mainly from just a convenience level of not having to pick out what to wear anytime there’s a shoot or a show, but also as a visual tool to tie together an era. As I was making the album, the rodeo clown seemed to fit the personality of the music. 

Collaborations with artists like Miya Folick, Goldie Boutilier, and Hovvdy are featured on Lonestar. Can you discuss the significance of these collaborations and how they contributed to the overall vibe of the album?

Yes! They are all amazing. Miya and I wrote “Big Sky” together and specifically we wanted to write a song about my move from Nashville to LA. I think we wrote it before I even moved officially. Goldie is an artist who I admired and was really excited to have her voice and energy attached to this kind of album, she feels like a main character in this setting, and is an amazing vocalist and artist. Will from Hovvdy is a great friend of mine and someone who I am always bouncing ideas off of, I really wanted him to be a part of “Bubba” because he is also from Texas and in many ways just felt like his voice would add to nostalgia that I already felt listening to Hovvdy’s music and reminiscing on the same feeling I am trying to capture on “Bubba”. 

Recording Lonestar with your band The Lone Stars sounds like it was a communal and organic process. How did this collaborative approach influence the final sound of the album, and what challenges or rewards did you encounter during the recording process?

Really it was all rewarding. Just trying something new and trusting people I really connected with was an amazing process. The biggest challenge was not working til 4am every night because we were just so locked in. It was a blast. Lots of laughs. 

The juxtaposition of theatricality and earnestness, as embodied by the rodeo clown persona, seems central to your artistic vision. How do you navigate this balance in your music, particularly in tracks like “Heartbreaker” and “Suckerpunch”?

I love that. I think that art just naturally gives you a chance to lean into whatever will serve the song or the feeling you are trying to communicate. I think that something can be theatrical and earnest if it all comes from the same honest source. 

Lonestar explores themes of identity, nostalgia, and self-discovery. How do these themes intersect with your personal journey as an artist, and what do you hope listeners take away from the album?

I hope that listeners see some of the fabrics of who I am. This is the first time I really feel like I am writing about this part of myself, and there is a lot more to unpack and display, but this felt like a great introduction and reclamation of this part of myself. 

Your childhood experiences, including memories of seeing clowns at the Texas State Fair circus, seem to have influenced the visual and thematic elements of your music. How do these nostalgic references inform your creative process and contribute to the overall storytelling of your songs?

Oh they absolutely are the scenes I draw on when I was writing. Even more so just the simplest scenes. The hot Texas summers where I can feel the itchy grass still, I can hear the way it sounds at night, and I can smell the air. That’s the stuff that I want to keep writing about and infusing into my music. 

If you could set up a fan for them to listen to Lonestar, what setting would that be? 

I would just take in the cover art. I feel like it sets the scene for what the listener is about to experience. Maybe grab a ranch water tequila soda, or a beer, and put it on when the suns already down but it still is a little bit navy blue in the sky. 

What is one quote you’ve heard in life that you’d want to ECHO out to fans?

“Who caresssss!?” -Brandon Shoop (Lonestar collaborator)