On February 16th, alternative rock band His Dream of Lions released their Ep Pseudo Star. It’s five tracks filled with stacked harmonies, catchy lyrics, and a boisterous sound that’s reminiscent of bands like FUN, Colony House, and Walk The Moon. The Virginia four-piece have been hard at work since the release of their 2015 self-titled EP, which featured the track “Danger Close” that premiered on Fuse’s FM TV.
The tracks on Pseudo Star were inspired by all of life’s uncertainties that are thrown our way. Vocalist Seth Coggeshall said, “we made Pseudo Star as a way of capturing a unique moment in our band’s life, and in order to do that we had to rise up to the challenge of writing, recording and releasing a record in a relatively short amount of time. There’s a lot of uncertainty that comes with a challenge like that, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head with fears of being inadequate or failing. However, we had to suppress our own anxieties, get out of our heads a little, and act.”
The first track, “Love Me Like I’m Sick” is fun and insanely catchy. It’s the perfect fit to start things off on a good note. While the music video that accompanies the track exudes heavy glam rock inspiration, the repetitive chorus is like the catchy-upbeat sounds of bands like FUN. It’s love-sick melody still has a charming quality that’s unique and proves the band can stand on its own.
There’s no shortage of hand claps or finger snaps on this record. Songs that you can’t help but move to because the beat is so infectious. The best example of this is on tracks “Earth Girls” and “Killer Trip”. From the moment “Earth Girls” starts you’re hit with a head-bobbin’, hand-clappin’, feet-stompin’ beat that listeners will enjoy. “Killer Trip” invokes a feeling of romantic nostalgia, like the soundtrack to a coming-of-age tale. It takes you on a journey of new beginnings, past loves, and life-changing moments. It’s a lyrical connection between the band and the listener that makes the track a truly unique experience.
With it’s mystical harmonies and chill beat, “Magic” is the band taking off it’s dancing shoes to show a softer side. It’s full of wonder and the longing for something greater than yourself. It’s about searching for your place in the world and for that spark of magic when you feel all hope is lost.
Ending things on a high note is the song “Swingin”. It takes us back to the fun, energetic vibe that the record started out with. What originally started out as a playful jazzy song ended up an upbeat dance track that perfectly captures the band’s new musical direction. Coggeshall said, “For us, “Swingin” encapsulates the instinct that fueled this record. It’s about fighting the good fight, even if it’s against yourself. Swinging unafraid of the fact that you might miss.”
His Dream of Lions have a vision to bridge the gap between pop and rock. With their unique approach to their sound, they’re continuing to go out of their comfort zone to grow and morph into the version of themselves that they aim to be. Their name draws inspiration from the Earnest Hemingway novel The Old Man and the Sea and the reoccurring dreams of the main character. It’s a constant reminder to the band of their ambition and their promise to never lose the hunger possess. In closing, Coggeshall said, “every EP we’ve made so far has seen us move closer and closer to our own unique aesthetic, both visually and sonically. To me Pseudo Star is the most realized version of His Dream of Lions. We are not only reaching into some of the history of classic rock for inspiration but claiming some of the more interesting aspects of modern pop as well.”