CANCELED // Dreamwell
Dreamwell is quick to talk about how their latest album Modern Grotesque is cursed. “We had a plan in 2018 to finish writing the album that summer,” guitarist Aki McCullough tells us during our call with the band over Zoom. “We were just gonna keep writing and not play too many shows, and be done. It didn’t quite go that way.” Plagued by tumultuous lineup changes, workplace injuries, COVID lockdowns, and label issues, the Providence-based post-hardcore/skramz five-piece’s sophomore album took an arduous four year journey to get to its recent release. Though the road to bring Modern Grotesque to fruition was long and fraught with difficulties, the album itself is an instantly gripping and cathartic experience, and one that makes Dreamwell an emerging band well worth watching.
Composed of McCullough (she/her), vocalist Keziah “KZ” Staska (he/she/they), guitarist Ryan Couitt (they/them), bassist Justin Soares (he/him), and drummer Anthony Montalbano (he/him), Dreamwell first came into form in 2016. “I had just moved to Boston,” McCullough says, “and hadn’t been in any bands in Boston yet.” She came across a post in a Facebook screamo group “looking for a guitarist for a band for fans of Touché Amoré, Pianos Become The Teeth, and Defeater,” and met with the four other members at the time (including the band’s initial vocalist Ramsay Young), who had formed Dreamwell after playing in post-hardcore and pop-punk bands with each other before. What resulted was their 2017 debut album The Distance Grows Fonder, a release written and recorded shortly after the band’s initial meeting.