Freak Dream
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Freak Dream

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2016
Band Alternative Industrial





Since the millennium, Elliot Langford has contributed to some of the most interesting indie bands to sweep Vancouver. Way back in 2008 he was a part of experimental noise-pop group SSRIs—a personal favourite of mine that, incidentally, introduced my teeny-bopping self to the city’s local scene. Some of his other projects, including the psych-folky Sprïng and Beatles cover group Taxmen, came and went.

Time passed and tours ended, but playing bass in the well-adored political punk band The Rebel Spell remained a steady source of creativity and passion for Langford until they lost their late frontman, Todd Serious, last year.

Today, Langford is back to being as busy as ever. He’s joined jazz-punk group Big EviL and math rock band Togetherness, along with making appearances in Jo Passed, Summering, Gay Nineties, Youngblood, Les Chausettes, Glad Rags, and Sightlines. Such a packed schedule can be partially attributed to the fact that he lives in a pseudo-venue with a bunch of other artists, many of whom he writes and plays alongside.

Even though Langford has now moved past The Rebel Spell, he will never forget Todd Serious or the band. Now, as an amalgamation of his musical hyperactivity and mourning, Langford is releasing an entire album dedicated to Serious and two other friends he lost through his 20’s under his new solo project, Freak Dream.

“I was sort of going through sadness mixed with frustration and anger about that, so I wanted to get some of that off my chest too. I wanted to feel like I could do that and not be embarrassed that some of it is just sort of high school angst poetry,” says Langford.

While that description doesn’t give nearly enough credit to the music, his writing on the record is unabashed and noisy. Tracks like “Almost Gone” are chaotic, but the chaos is well-organized. Listening to the whole collection of songs feels turbulent, violent, but somehow resolved and peaceful.

For Langford, that quality is part of what made creating the record “really cathartic,” both as an accolade to his dearly departed and because of its honest and blunt style.

“More than it’s angry or sad, that’s the feeling that I’ve really appreciated,” he says. “I think that some people who aren’t familiar with heavy music might mistake it as being just angry, but for me it’s cathartic.”

“Trying to remain optimistic and positive and moving forward even when things aren’t going so great is kind of a consistent theme in the songs,” says Langford.

They were also a chance for him to explore musical extremes that hadn’t fit into his other bands, along with an opportunity for complete freedom of expression devoid of shyness or insecurity.

“I just wanted to do outrageous shit,” he says.

An influence from Langford’s teenage years—Nine Inch Nails’ Downward Spiral album—is already bleeding into Freak Dream’s sound. Heavy, industrial beats blast through most of his new songs, and Reznor-esque screams often make it into the most calamitous parts of each track.

As a DIY producer and musician, Prince was also an inspiration for the project, as was metalcore band Converge and noise rock group Health.

Although he played and produced every part of Freak Dream’s record on his own, it has officially taken the stage as a live band. With Langford on vocals and a band behind him, the project’s name will be appearing on bills within Vancouver on the regular. As a matter of fact, the first multi-member performance was at a tribute show to The Rebel Spell. - The Runner


Freak Dream is the solo recording project of Elliot Langford. Based out of Vancouver, he has a performing background in punk, math-rock, and psychedelic.

Elliot finds the inspiration for Freak Dream from a variety of past influence — Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Converge, Blood Brothers, and HEALTH. It was back in the Fall of 2015 that Langford began piecing together the sound and common thread that would eventually evolve into his solo project.

Following a few months of “reclusive tinkering,” a handful of rough mixes and experiments were shown off as an opening act for a small house show. It was after the show that Elliot was approached by Popgang Records’ Jordan, who had an interest in setting up and EP for Freak Dream. With a little more fine-tuning, the EP found its way out in November of 2016.

Unpredictability is the hallmark of Freak Dream’s live performances, sometimes in outings as a solo electronic and vocal performance; other times as a full rock band or a two piece hybrid with live drums. 2017 holds an opportunity for Langford to perform across Canada, outside of Vancouver (where they currently perform most shows) and in the US.

Outside of Freak Dream, you may find Elliot playing for Big EviL. He was also a former member of SSRIs, The Rebel Spell and Sprïng.

If it happens to be your first listen to Freak Dream, you will quickly encounter his manic unpredictability. “Let Me Out” begins as a percussively busy, but soft and smooth introduction. Grittier elements finally culminate in an explosive burst of emotion and sound that you would have never predicted just a moment before.

In the closing minute, you get treated to second lethal dose of Langford’s punk-influenced call-to-action, ultimately leaving nothing on the table. The vision and execution of “Let Me Out” as a solo artist’s creation is impressive to a very large degree. You’ll find the same grit in the rest of his EP, Freak Dream, too. 5/5. - Impose


You may remember my post from a few years back about the fantastic prog-pop psych-rock band Sprïng, or you may not. I can refresh your memory briefly: they were great. Unfortunately they are no longer, though they did trickle out some new material after the release of their brilliant “Celebrations,” it seems there won’t be a follow-up.

However, and thankfully, Sprïng’s former guitarist Elliot has recently released a great five-song EP under the name Freak Dream. The release explodes right out of the gate, with synths and driving guitars combining to create a fusion of the industrial and hardcore punk sounds. Opening tracks “Let Me Out” and “Almost Gone” create a sense of space with more understated prog breakdowns before launching back into the more aggressive sounds favored throughout most of the EP.

The persistent kick of “How Can I” immediately calls to mind Big Black, though again Elliot creates more depth through his ability to pull everything back before piling on the noise again. Although, you’d never find a song like “Breathe II” on any Big Black album. That track’s mode shifting piano and delicate, feedback-driven, atmospherics not only lend the perfect amount of contrast to the collection, but show the range of Elliot’s interests and the palette he’s working with. It lays the groundwork nicely for the final track “Get Up” which is basically a really great, straight ahead rock tune. “Get Up” even manages to touch upon glam with its soaring coda emerging from dreamier, echoes of guitar.

You can listen to the entire EP above, or on the Freak Dream bandcamp page. If you head over to that page you can name your own price for a digital download, or get a CD with an 8-page, color zine for $5 Canadian. - Quartertonaltiy


When the vocals first cut in the cacophony of noise diminishes as the words fly at you in a rapid staccato. Not much time to catch your breath though as the thunderous avalanche of industrial/hardcore/synth washes over once again. - Ride The Tempo


Freak Dream - Self Titled (Popgang Records, November 2016.)



Freak Dream is a solo recording project and live band created by Vancouver BC based musician Elliot Langford.

Elliot was previously a member of various rock bands including math-rock band SSRIs, punk band The Rebel Spell and psychedelic band Sprïng. Elliot is currently a member of freak-jazz band “Big EviL” and math-rock band “Togetherness.”

The music of Freak Dream is inspired by the work of solo producer artists (Nine Inch Nails, Prince, Grimes); the cathartic energy of punk (Converge, Blood Brothers); and the textures of noise-rock (HEALTH, Melt Banana.)

The lyrics on the first Freak Dream release deal with the struggle to overcome difficult life experiences.

These included losing Todd, a close friend and bandmate, and Sprïng breaking up.

Determined to start a new project, Elliot spent October 2015 in a rehearsal space, writing as many song ideas as possible with programmed drums / synths, and recorded guitar / bass / vocals. Several of the songs seemed to contain a common thread and which gradually pieced together and evolved into the Freak Dream.

After several months of reclusive tinkering, Elliot performed rough mixes of the songs at a small house show, opening for the Oakland-based band Religious Girls. After the show, Jordan from Popgang Records approached Elliot about releasing an EP. The recordings were further refined, and the EP is set to be released in the fall of 2016.

Freak Dream's live performance varies, with the band performing as a solo electronic and vocal performance; a two piece hybrid with live drums; or a full rock band. The band has begun performing live locally in Vancouver with plans to perform across Canada and the US in the near future.

The first Freak Dream release, a self-titled EP is available via Popgang Records on November 22nd.

Band Members