The relentlessly catchy “Dreamland” nods to “indie sleaze” while further cementing Rebounder as a force to be reckoned with in the NYC music scene (and beyond).
Stream: “Dreamland” – Rebounder
A curious thing tends to happen when a tasteful indie pop-meets-rock outfit bursts onto the scene in New York City, a town where “overnight success” is more often hard-fought over several years.
There’s an undercurrent of buzz that catches your eyes and your ears – maybe on social media, maybe by word of mouth, maybe at a live show after years of pandemic interruptions – but the question lingers: How does the music itself stack up?
In the case of Rebounder (the quartet fronted by guitarist Dylan Chenfield), the answer is simple. Rebounder’s latest release, “Dreamland,” joins a burgeoning discography that lives up to the hype – and then some.
Highlight that, circle it and come back to it later, because you’ll start to believe it, too.
The same doubts and questions, perhaps, plagued other much-hyped indie outfits of years past, and those were also put to rest in short order (three words: “Is This It”).
The latest trio of Rebounder tracks, led by “Dreamland,” builds off a series of at-times mysterious releases dating as far back as 2018, including the six-song effort Subway Songs.
Rewind to spring 2018, when “Japanese Posters,” (which now boasts 13 million-plus Spotify streams dating back to 2020) garnered online buzz and built that heightened sense of mystery around Rebounder.
Times are different now. Rebounder — accented by Dylan Chenfield’s brother, bassist and vocalist Noah Chenfield, plus Zach Kantor on guitar and Cobey Arner on drums — is much more visible and no longer anonymous, for one.
And the quartet is taking a series of assured steps on the path to cementing its place in the city’s canon, one shaped in modern times by guys with last names like Casablancas.
The comparisons might be inevitable – a stylish band making catchy, smart music – but Rebounder is more than just a ripple in the indie sleaze wave.
The Rebounder name could soon reach a lot more households, too. The group recently played a run of shows with famed French indie masters Phoenix over New Year’s Eve.
And the emphasis on music as well as style seems to fit nicely.
The band appeared in a December 2022 J. Crew campaign, wearing a series of vintage-meets-modern tees, caps and jackets in a Vermont-by-way-of-Manhattan photoshoot.
The photoshoot shows off the band’s close bond – Dylan told J. Crew he attended pre-school with guitarist Zach – and you could perhaps call it a cool, stylish sign of future things to come.
Take heed: There’s more at work than just aesthetics here, though.
“Dreamland,” hailing off this summer’s slated Sundress Songs EP, is built on a zippy stomp and strut that calls to mind the tightly wound guitar work of one Albert Hammond Jr., or else the breezy earworm groove of genre contemporaries like Hippo Campus.
The track, Dylan Canfield says, is “about closing your eyes and wanting to go somewhere else, and waking up 6 to 8 hours later realizing maybe where you are is where you are supposed to be.”
Got the engine running
won’t you take me to dreamland
Don’t think we’ll regret it,
at least not in the present
Close your eyes and take me to dreamland
An irresistible flourish of guitar brings the song home in triumphant fashion, one that seems to speak to the surge of ups and downs only amplified by New York City.
“Mundane evenings or rainbow avenues” is the choice at the heart of “Dreamland,” but Rebounder seem to agree: Waking up in New York City most days, no matter how difficult, is enough to remind one of the gift of being here, the opportunity close at hand, and the way forward.
Rebounder seem poised to make that leap in stride – they won’t catch that many people by surprise when it happens.
Stream: “Dreamland” – Rebounder
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