Night Dreamer showcase their sound at Vancouver’s Blue Light Studio

“Because I’m amazing!”  

Mindy Song laughs, elbows bent and palms skyward.  She is seated on a sofa in East Vancouver’s Blue Light Studio next to her creative counterpart, Jeff Schroeder of the Smashing Pumpkins.  Her statement is an answer to the question of why their mutual friends recommended her to Schroeder, who was looking for a female vocalist to front his next project.  She is obviously joking, but she’s not wrong.  

The pair have already released an EP, secured an experienced management and PR team and played a handful of shows in America, Korea and now Canada.  Their sound is a mesmerizing mix of guitar, effects, industrial sounds, and luminous vocals, encompassing elements of pop, electronica, heavy metal, and rock.   

“We kind of let the music and our intuition guide us,” explains Song. 

“It evolved over time,” Schroeder agrees. “I come up with some type of guitar thing and how that develops could go a number of different ways.”

Schroeder is calm, assured, and articulate.  He was exposed to rock music early on by his father and older brother and has been playing music professionally in some form or other since he was 18.  He has worked with an extensive list of musicians since, although his current gig as the guitarist for the Smashing Pumpkins is easily the highest profile.

“It was just inevitable,” he says casually about his decision to pursue music.

Photo by Mariko Margetson

Song, on the other hand is a relative newcomer to the professional music scene.  Like Schroeder, she was introduced to music at a young age, but as a classically trained violinist and pianist. Eventually she abandoned the idea of being a concert musician and temporarily put her focus into visual arts.

“I’ve had a strange journey with music,” the Orange County native admits.  Song recalls in detail the moment she realized that music was her calling. “I clearly remember being at the piano, the sun was setting, it was dark and I just thought ‘I want to be a great American songwriter.’” 

Soon after our chat, the pair play to a small but crowded room at Blue Light Studio.  It’s a short, but ultimately powerful set, including all five songs off their debut EP, Treasure plus two brand new songs. It’s incredible how Schroeder can get such a robust sound from one guitar and a single 6 line Helix pedal.  His face is cemented with a look of concentration while to his left, Song puts everything she has into her vocal performance.  Her voice is haunting, with just enough timbre in it to avoid being categorized as ethereal.

East

Vancouver’s Blue Light Studio is a really cool place to see an up and coming band like Night Dreamer. The pair were here on a short stop over heading home from a short run of shows in Korea, an experience that had a profound effect on both musicians. 

Song returned with a renewed sense of purpose.  “I feel like this entire trip changed me to the core as a musician as far as the possibilities of what music can do as far as bridging people” 

For Schroeder, the trip offered an opportunity to reconnect with friends he’d made while living in Korea several years ago. According to Schroeder, these connections also offered inspiration as to what might be ahead for the new fledgling project.  

“I always had this dream somehow in my mind that I wanted to work with them somehow musically,” he reveals. “We definitely want to elevate the aesthetic a little bit more and kind of push things in a more slightly grandiose kind of way… to keep on pushing things a little bit farther.”