Premiere: The Undercover Dream Lovers’ Hazy, Radiant “Stop & Listen”

The Undercover Dream Lovers © 2018

There’s something inherently sexy about The Undercover Dream Lovers’ new song, “Stop & Listen.” Maybe it’s the liberal use of  the wah-wah pedal; maybe it’s the fat bass guitar keeping a constant thumb on the rhythmic scale; maybe it’s the glazed, starry-eyed vocals clinging to something before letting it go.

Either way, you too will become an undercover dream lover once you dive into this song.

I wanna feel like im right
I never stop and listen im so uptight
you find yourself in a jam
i can’t explain it
i bet no one can
I gotta figure this out
i’m only wasting away by waiting now
i said I’m takin my time
maybe making excuses is just my style
“Stop & Listen” – The Undercover Dream Lovers


Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Stop & Listen,” the latest single off The Undercover Dream Lovers’ upcoming debut EP, In Real Time. The psychedelic indie rock project of Brooklyn-based Matt Koenig, The Undercover Dream Lovers evoke a euphoria of youthful cheer and nostalgia, honest reflection and uncertainty, and radiant, delightfully warm energy. Koenig’s falsetto is soft but full, a rarity in male vocalists that the New Yorker takes full advantage of throughout his latest release.

Stop & Listen - The Undercover Dream Lovers

Stop & Listen – The Undercover Dream Lovers

Though we might, by its nature, call this ‘bedroom pop,’ The Undercover Dream Lovers’ skillful layering of sounds and textures takes us far, far away from any bedroom I’ve ever known. “Stop & Listen” feels at home in dark, dimly-lit Bushwick dance halls – the sort of place where the music continues to pulse at 3am, providing a soundtrack for dancing as well as deep conversation.

The Undercover Dream Lovers’ goal “is to create a place in the distant future, but also simultaneously incite feelings of nostalgia for the past recalled in a dream-like manner” – something equally expressed in the musical artist’s visual aesthetic, a collaboration with artist Alex Laliberte. The title ‘In Real Time’ represents “living and creating in the moment and the idea that a specific body of art doesn’t always have a distinct start or end point, but rather represents a snapshot of the artist’s work in a lifetime,” per Koenig.

In Real Time - Undercover Dream Lovers

In Real Time – Undercover Dream Lovers

Something I can’t find
Always on my mind
see if I can try
to listen

“Stop & Listen started as a melody that I’d been humming for a week or so and eventually started to track one day,” recalls Matt Koenig. “Everything came to together super quickly and naturally after that. I just took all my first instincts and ran with them, and it pretty much came together in one day. Sessions like that don’t happen all the time, but are always super refreshing. The inspiration is fitting and kind of similar: It’s the idea of giving in, even if you think you’re right, and the release when you just let go of what you’re holding onto and listening to something or someone else.” Koenig’s sincerity resonates throughout the piece, and with the artist’s clarity we come to view this song as a kind of breath of fresh air – the easing of a large weight we might never have noticed beforehand.

I wanna feel like i’m right
I Never stop and listen im so uptight
you find yourself in a jam
i can’t explain it
i bet no one can
I gotta figure this out
im only wastin away by waiting now
i said I’m takin my time
maybe making excuses is just my style
pick it up where i left it off
part of me wants to dust it off
hopefully i don’t lose it all
feeling like im not bruised at all

You can listen to The Undercover Dream Lovers for nuance, for a good time, or for the smug pride of knowing a band called The Undercover Dream Lovers; whatever gets you through the night. Either way, take a chance on this hazy artist and don’t miss the full band, featuring Galen Gatzke and Sarah Galdes, at their record release show at Brooklyn Bazaar on March 1 – tickets here!

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In Real Time - Undercover Dream Lovers

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photo © Alex Laliberte

:: Undercover Dream Lovers ::

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com