“deary, not dreary”: London Duo deary Unleash Ethereal Dream Pop Wonder on Debut EP

deary EP - deary
deary's self-titled debut EP, released in November 2023 via Sonic Cathedral
London dream pop duo deary take us track-by-track through their eponymous debut EP, a melodramatic, moody enchantment that intoxicates and entices, ultimately uplifting our hearts as the duo soak the air with thick, gauzy, and glistening sound.
for fans of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, The Cure, Beabadoobee
Stream: “Fairground” – deary

deary’s debut doesn’t just envelop the ears; it submerges the whole soul.

From the moment the London-based band began their journey – less than a year ago last January, which saw the release of their very first single, “Fairground’ – they have been an unapologetic force of hazy sonic fury, incorporating elements of shoegaze, dream pop, and more into an achingly intimate and uniquely ethereal alternative sound that is simultaneously heavy, light, and utterly all-consuming. Their eponymous EP stays true to that vision, dousing listeners in shiver-inducing, emotionally charged waves of warmth and wonder. deary is a seductive fever dream: A melodramatic, moody enchantment that intoxicates and entices, ultimately uplifting our hearts as the duo soak the air with thick, gauzy, and glistening sound.

deary EP - deary
deary’s self-titled debut EP, released in November 2023 via Sonic Cathedral
Did you hear?
I’ve been trying to make my way around
The big city, it’s the loudest fairground
A few more hours, maybe one more ride
I’ll make it in time
Blinker lights and monster tall
Break the dark before the storm
– “Fairground,” deary

Released November 17, 2023 via Sonic Cathedral, deary is the long-awaited debut EP from a band we fell head over heels for, pretty much instantly. The duo of vocalist Dottie and guitarist-producer Ben Easton, deary introduced themselves in late January 2023 with the ethereal and soul-stirring “Fairground,” which we praised at the time as a visceral shoegaze dream: “The kind that envelops our ears and drenches our hearts in its glistening wash of sound. The kind that cuts deep and leaves a lasting mark… From its atmospheric elements to its alternative bliss, “Fairground” is absolutely stunning: A beautifully raw debut.” With a lush sound that evokes the likes of Mazzy Star and Slowdive, deary have, through that song and successive singles, and now their first EP, established themselves as purveyors of the hypnotic, the lilting, the atmospheric, and the reverb-drenched.

deary © Jacob McGarry
deary © Jacob McGarry

“The EP took a long time to produce, though not through lack of direction or purpose,” the duo tells Atwood Magazine. “We were keen to let the songs breathe, and let our new creative process develop. We had only known each other for a few months before recording sessions began. There are elements on there from before the pandemic, and some from a few months ago. Stitching the two extremes together makes the EP feel authentic document of how we created deary.”

“As a body of work, it started revealing itself when we finished ‘Beauty in all Blue Satin,’ which was the second to last song we recorded. Once Dottie got the chorus line and we found the big outro, we knew had the right ending song for an EP. The other tracks fell into place quite naturally.”

Dottie and Easton lovingly describe their EP as deary, not dreary. Their name itself came together organically, and is as much a play on words as it is a reference to the feelings evoked through their songs.

“Looking back over the demos we shared, they all have ‘deary’ on them as the artist. After we finished a few tracks, we had a two-second chat and both simply said, ‘Yeah great, moving on.’ It’s an interesting, quite archaic British term and has connotations of weakness, which kind of suits the frailty or melancholy in our music. We’ve also endearingly been mislabelled as dreary, which is funny.”

deary © Emelie Eckerud
deary © Emelie Eckerud

Candidly, there’s nothing dreary about deary’s six tracks – each of which captures another element of the pair’s artistry, while all succinctly and cohesively fitting together for this 23-minute adventure.

deary is an honest insight into our journey as a band,” the pair explains. “Listening to it now, it encapsulates the joy of experimenting and working with someone new. We both had a shared love for a certain type of music and hadn’t previously allowed ourselves to explore. In turn, this has opened up this well of ideas, ‘deary’ being the first offerings from it.”

There’s plenty to love about this sonic and emotional rollercoaster: From the brutal overdrive and breathtaking churn of opener “Heaven” to the gentle, glistening glow of “Only Need” and the pulsating, lush indulgence of “Sleepsong,” deary aches from the inside out as the band treat listeners to a feast for both the ears and the soul.

Saw you floating
I reached out, you pulled me
Down through the seams
Don’t know what it means
But heaven is ours
You look just like a dream
Don’t know what it means
But heaven is ours
Sea of motion
Clouded devotion
– “Heaven,” deary

Closing track “Beauty in All Blue Satin,” released in May as deary’s sophomore single, is an instant standout: Born out of the inner darkness we can never fully expunge, the song is a hauntingly beautiful, emotionally charged eruption brought to life in five breathtakingly delicate minutes. “Layered in lilting, reverb-drenched guitars and shuffling drums, with Dottie’s seductive voice melting over everything like the moody, soothing cherry on top, ‘Fairground’ explored the sensory overload of London through a richly atmospheric lens,” we wrote last spring. “‘Beauty in All Blue Satin’ is the follow-up such a stunning song deserves, finding deary continue to unveil their artistry through an intimately expansive upheaval: The soundtrack to an ending.”

It’s hard to not fall for deary’s poetic imagery: “Dressed like a symphony, pearl rain falls so pretty,” Dottie sings, whisking us into her world so full of colorful depth, nuance, and heavy feeling:

lace on the balcony
there’s no more time, honey
late for the company
wait for the rest of me
beauty in all blue satin
dressed like a symphony
pearl rain falls so pretty
beauty in all blue satin



Of their EP’s new material, Deary say they’re most excited for listeners to hear the song “Want You” – easily their softest, most fragile recording yet, with a sole effected guitar accompanying Dottie’s sweet singing voice. It’s a moment of pure, unadulterated vulnerability and raw connection – both for the artists, and for listeners.

“[It’s] probably the one that stands out from the unreleased tracks,” deary explain. “It’s the one track on the EP that we really explored our songwriting away from the beat or the vibe; it’s a lovely, sad little song.”

Meanwhile, deary cite their debut single as a definitive favorite and shared highlight. “That track really put us on people’s radar, and it just so happened to be our debut single. It was so exciting to hear us on the radio for the first time, and the response to that song both on record and live. The lyrics in ‘Fairground’ mean a lot to Dottie. As they originally came from a letter to a loved one, they feel very personal and capture a moment in time when feelings were hard to explain.”

Did you hear, I’ve been trying to make my way around
The big city it’s the loudest fairground
A few more hours, maybe one more ride,
I’ll make it in time.

deary © Grace Easton
deary © Grace Easton

A sonic tidal wave of feeling, deary is as much a lens into this exciting new band, as it is a warm and intimately inviting world unto itself:

One in which we can choose to sink or swim, knowing that either way, we’ll come away with a sense of cathartic release.

“This [last] year has been a wild one, from having Saint Etienne remix our debut single to supporting Slowdive and subsequently releasing our first body of work,” deary share. “We’re just enjoying feeling people’s connection to our music and we hope they enjoy listening to the EP. We’re currently writing what should become the album and we definitely feel confident raising the bar, challenging ourselves and releasing another collection of tracks we’re just as proud of, if not more.”

Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside deary’s debut EP with Atwood Magazine as Dottie and Easton take us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their eponymous record!

— —

:: stream/purchase deary EP here ::
:: connect with deary here ::
Stream: ‘deary’ – deary

:: Inside deary ::

deary EP - deary

— —


‘Heaven’ was written alongside another heavier track when we were experimenting with more distortion and fuzz. It has a lot of energy that felt like when you meet someone you really connect with for the first time, it’s immediate. The ebbs and flows of the beginning of a relationship and the chaos of trying to hold onto those initial bursts of connection.


‘Only Need’ is about all the ways we contort ourselves for someone else’s attention and then feel completely empty afterwards. It’s not a sad song, though. It’s more a celebration of growth and being grateful for moments that teach us.


It’s been incredible to see ‘Fairground’ take on a life of its own since its release. The way people have connected with this one is very special. It was the first song that felt like ‘deary’. Everything came together very naturally, and we are so grateful that it continues to be shared and celebrated.


The chords to ‘Want You’ had sprung to mind ten minutes before being rushed out of the door for some reason. Ben put the guitars down but, listening back later that evening, realised he left an acoustic simulator pedal on, which made the guitar half-way between an electric and acoustic. We liked the sound of the strings coming through so left it on there. The song is simple and shows a softer side to us. Sometimes a song needs to be left at its roots.


Writing ‘Sleepsong’ feels a bit like a blur. For a while we both struggled to find a song within this idea. Once we stepped back and let it form naturally, it came together. It falls in a similar sound world to fairground, with the looping samples and hypnotic melodies and one we want to continue to explore. Once the song found its place, it became a meaningful favourite of ours and a needed comfort at the time.


‘Beauty…’ was really fun to write. We decided to explore a more theatrical way of writing and not hold back on the effects. The visuals felt very strong for this song, which helped build the sound world around it. It was interesting to explore the mind of a character and let her take possession of the song. 

— —

:: stream/purchase deary EP here ::
:: connect with deary here ::

— — — —

deary EP - deary

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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © 2023

:: Stream deary ::

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