Thursday, April 08, 2021

Never Mind the Travel Ban; Here’s JUNODREAM’s ‘Travel Guide’

“Somewhere in the middle of sad and uplifting” is how Junodream describe their sound. The London-based five-piece met at school, and formed the group after discovering their shared love of alt-rock.

Their newest single, ‘Travel Guide’, is a track that poses the magic of travel against its reality - its promises of peace, versus the inevitable impossibility of running away from one’s own problems. It also alludes to the destructive nature of tourism, something which is reflected in the song’s music video. Animated by TAUNT, a miserable dinosaur living in a high-rise block of flats flies away to a holiday resort and destroys everything in his path, eventually setting the island on fire. 

More than just a shout-out to obnoxious tourists who steal people’s sun loungers, the video (and song) look to the long-term effects of tourism – think pollution, vandalism and overpopulation. However, this cynicism isn’t an entirely new angle for the band; take previous EP titles ‘Terrible Things Could Happen’ and ‘Isn’t It Lovely (To Be Alone)’ for example. 


Despite its somewhat downcast subject matter, the song in itself is anything but miserable. Ed’s downtempo, hazy vocals immerse the listener in Junodream’s dreamscape atmosphere. The psychedelic guitar compliments his voice perfectly and builds into a shoegaze-esque solo. Junodream have previously been compared to early Radiohead, and it’s easy to see why here. Their sound is infused with 90s sound, reminiscent of early Blur and of French music duo Air, in places. The act of listening to this song is a form of escapism in itself - one listener, for example, commented on the music video: “When I run across the country and start my double life, this WILL be playing in my car”. And perhaps this is appropriate, as the onset of the pandemic reaches its one-year anniversary and dreams of travelling seem worlds away.


The song is the band’s second release of 2021 and I cannot wait to see what other topics they tackle in future releases. 


Saskia Norman

Instagram handle: @saskiaxena 


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