Nashville-based “post-angst” band Certainly So dive into their softly sweet, gentle, and comforting sophomore album ‘Dreams of Green,’ a radiant and sun-kissed indie folk reverie.
Stream: “Daydreams” – Certainly So
Softly sweet, gentle, and comforting, Certainly So’s music is like a warm breeze in the summertime.
Lilting and lush, it’s as easy to love as it is to lose yourself within. The Alabama-born “post-angst” band blend folk, Americana, alternative, psychedelia, and more into a seamless blend that shines particularly bright on their sophomore album: A radiant and sun-kissed reverie, Dreams of Green is a stirring encapsulation of Certainly So’s enchanting, intimate softer side.
Every time I close my eyes
I’m so glad you’re in my daydream
Love of my life
Though my heart is on the line
I will be there on the tightrope
Pay no mind
Released July 1, 2022 via Beef Records/16camino, Dreams of Green is the breezy sophomore album from Certainly So, and the companion “mini album” to their April debut LP, Future Self Only Dreams – itself an inviting and harmony-rich introduction to the indie folk band of Tanner Gray, Colby Wilson, bassist Chase Porter and drummer Zach Corder.
With roots in Birmingham, Alabama and a base in Nashville, Tennessee, Certainly So formed in late 2019 over a shared love of buoyant melodies, bluesy hooks, charming psychedelia, and mesmerizing melodicism. Citing the likes of The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Grateful Dead, Vampire Weekend, John Mayer, and Her’s as influences and inspirations, the four-piece’s music is inherently sweet and soulful, warm and welcoming. The band teamed up with producer/engineer Toby Hulbert (Abbey Road Studios) to produce both of their albums.
As Certainly So explain, Dreams of Green was initially intended to be a deluxe-style addendum to their debut.
“This record is a combination of the songs that did not sonically make the cut for Future Self Only Dreams (FSOD), but still deserved to be produced and recorded in their own style, and the new writes that fit the same vibe,” Tanner Gray tells Atwood Magazine. “After compiling all the songs we realized that we should release it as a separate album. The title “Dreams of Green” alludes to the fact that this album is tied to FSOD and an extension of that era of the band.”
“This album shows another side of the band’s sound,” he continues. “You can hear our southern roots come through more clearly in this album than the first. This album is if Marty Robbins and The Beatles collaborated at a Nashville studio. If FSOD is the person that lives in the city and has a good job, then Dreams of Green is their cousin that lives out in the sticks and drives a Dodge Ram.”
Compared to the angular guitars and light indie rock-fused dynamicism of Future Self Only Dreams, Dreams of Green feels incredibly relaxed, tender, and, for lack of a better word, folky. The album was preceded by May’s lead single “Daydreams,” a happy little reverie that captures a moment of rare, uninhibited contentment. In previously covering the track, Atwood Magazine praised Certainly So for how they invite listeners to join them and bask in the sweetly seductive rays of comfort and fulfillment. “They sing about the little things and the wonders of being present in the moment with your special someone; of feeling connected to something larger than yourself, knowing that for a moment, life is good.”
There’s an overtone
Soaked in golden revelry
No one can control us
We have oceans left to see
You come through in every line
No one else is on the paper
Just mine, all mine
Additional album highlights include the smile-inducing single “Fool’s Gold,” the psych-soaked instrumental interlude “Desert Vampires,” the heartwarming Simon & Garfunkel-esque folk ballad “Far from Home,” and the radiant album opener “Jackie and Andy” – which the band cite as their personal highlight as well.
“We love ‘Jackie and Andy’ because we feel like it’s truly unique in sound and structure,” they note. “The classic story of unrequited love, it sets the tone for Dreams of Green. There are a couple of concepts in this song that carry over into others throughout the record such as the blue eyes. Tanner and Colby wrote this song over the summer of 2020, later bringing it to Chase and Zach to finish the arrangement. Multiple sections of the song are layered over top of each other at the end, which was inspired by Paul McCartney’s ‘Silly Love Songs.'”
As for lyrical highlights, the band mention three standouts:
“Told me that you’d miss me, but I knew you lied. I was too good to leave but too hard to love” – Holy Roller
“You can top me off till I’m weak in the knees” – Fool’s Gold
“Don’t confuse kindness for sympathy” – Song and Dance
While it may be a continuation of its predecessor, Dreams of Green stands on its own as a sweet release of spring and summertime warmth. It’s a record of honed, catchy songwriting; an embrace of life’s sunnier sounds that can’t help but evoke a peaceful, easy feeling in all who listen. It’s been a busy year for Certainly So, but through both of their albums, they have undeniably asserted themselves as one of Nashville’s brightest new bands.
“We would ask that listeners will listen fully through, experiencing the album as a singular concept that flows from beginning to end,” Certainly So share. “Take it for what it is. This is a fun mini-LP we recorded in a single weekend. That does not mean we didn’t pour ourselves into this project. We are undoubtedly proud of what we were able to accomplish in our own basement. We definitely learned that’s a lot of recording for one weekend. We had to learn to have fun being flexible as a project takes shape because things don’t always go as planned.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Certainly So’s Dreams of Green with Atwood Magazine as the band goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their sophomore album!
Stream: ‘Dreams of Green’ – Certainly So
:: Inside Dreams of Green ::
Jackie and Andy
The classic story of unrequited love, Jackie & Andy sets the tone for Dreams of Green. There are a couple of concepts in this song that carry over into others throughout the record such as the blue eyes. Tanner and Colby wrote this song over the summer of 2020, later bringing it to Chase and Zach to finish the arrangement. Multiple sections of the song are layered over top of each other at the end, which was inspired by “Silly Love Songs” by Paul McCartney.
This song has a beachy vibe that is accented by the major 6 chords, lush pedal steel, and bossa-style drum pattern. When all the elements come together we notice a hypnotic feel that tells the story of two young lovers. Look out for Jackie and Andy as a continuing story in later albums.
Gray, Wilson, Porter, Corder
The band had the idea for this concept of having a radio interlude to “Daydreams” featuring their longtime friend. We feel that this album fits a road trip from the southeast to the west coast and we are bringing the listener with us by including the radio track. The song fizzles into a dreamlike sound that is the prelude to “Daydreams.”
The lead single for the album, “Daydreams” is a song that explores the feelings of being secure and in love. It has all the makings of a true love song, but only through the dreaming of the narrator and how the lover is personified. Tanner started writing this song, and later finished it with Colby over the summer of 2020 before playing it with the rest of the band. We feel like this song rides the line between country and indie very well without tipping over. Another lush track, but this one has a little extra power with the trumpet arrangements – very triumphant.
This was the second song (preceded by “Golden State”) written by Tanner and Colby once they reunited and started making music together again in 2019. The song was originally recorded for Certainly So’s debut album, Future Self Only Dreams, but was cut once the band realized that it simply did not fit the soundscape of the rest of the tracks. “Fool’s Gold can be taken for face value, or as a tongue in cheek response. We like the lyrics of this one because you can feel the sarcasm coming through at points, yet melancholy sentiments at others. It’s hard to tell if the narrator is actually sad. At this point in the sonic roadtrip,, we are camping – that’s why the song is acoustic in nature ,featuring the mandolin, and preluded by the campfire sounds and banjo.
This song was written by Tanner during the height of his Marty Robbins obsession. Moving along the south to southwestern US in soundscape, “Holy Roller” has a traditional chord structure often found in country and western songs. It was in the wake of a short lived relationship where each party was enjoying themselves, but knew that it would never last. Like “Fool’s Gold” this track was scratched from Future Self Only Dreams album because it did not fit the style and overall texture of the record. We like this track because it has a strong energy and the 2-part harmony kicks ass. Holy Roller starts with bar chatter/applause lending to the live feel of the track.
Gray, Wilson, Porter, Corder
A post “Holy Roller” vamp comes in immediately, and the FM broadcast established earlier returns with an urgent message from a nearby national park. While the bones of the track were discussed prior to recording, the final version is a live performance by the band. We love the psychedelic feel on this track created by the panning drums and talkbox pedal steel courtesy of Jacob Dillard.
Song and Dance
“Song & Dance” was written by Tanner, with the idea of having two vocal parts throughout the entirety of the song. This song was also recorded and ultimately cut from Future Self Only Dreams before finding its place on Dreams of Green. It tells the story of two lovers who always seem to find themselves on different pages emotionally. This track follows the Western theme established in “Holy Roller” and moves the album fully into the desert. The trumpets along with the drum and bass pattern give this track a spanish feel. Lyrically this songs boasts the intellectual and emotional clarity that comes from the psychedelic trip that was “Desert Vampire”
Far From Home
“Far From Home” is the first track written and sung by Certainly So bassist Chase Porter. The track tells the story of perspective gained on the road after experiencing heartbreak. After a few lyrical edits from Tanner Gray, the song was brought to the table for the folk/alt-country project Dreams of Green. The song builds gradually from solo acoustic to full band topped off with a three part vocal round. At this point in the sonic roadtrip we have made is the west coast and reminiscing on all that we have done.
I Still Miss Someone
Johnny Cash, Roy Cash Jr.
The closing track to Dreams of Green is a cover written by Johnny Cash and Roy Cash Jr. The band chose this song because not only did it fit sonically for the record, but it also incorporated the “blue eyes” associated with Jackie in the opening track. Tanner and Colby have always been big fans of Johnny Cash, and are grateful they had the opportunity to perform it for the record. We went for a minimal arrangement to highlight the sincere vocals and sprinkled in some thoughtful mellotron in the instrumental break courtesy of James Wyatt.
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? © Jackson Ross Photography
:: Stream Certainly So ::