Pensacola, Florida
Friday July 19th 2019

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Hangout Fest ’19: Dream On, Dreamer Boy

By Sydney Robinson

To give you a Pensacola reference point for the music of Nashville-based Dreamer Boy, let’s just say it’s like driving down Cervantes Street with your windows down during golden hour on one of those days when the sky looks like pure cotton.

It’s dreamy.

Zach Taylor’s aptly-titled musical project Dreamer Boy is borne of pure “remember when” vibes. His premiere album, “Love, Nostalgia,” features themes of melancholy and reflection, centered around a particular emotion many can relate to—the conclusion of young love in the summertime.

Ask Taylor about his influences and you’ll get a thoughtful answer.

“The Beatles, Beach Boys, Frank Ocean, Tame Impala … I think that’s a pretty good mix. I love the classic and simplistic nature of these amazing songs that came out of the Beach Boys and Beatles era and the way that those songs were able to put this complex world into such simple and beautiful words. I love Frank Ocean for the reason that is kind of opposite of that—he puts a microscope on a feeling and using imagery and metaphor to really make you feel it.”

That mix of simplicity of narrative and complexity of emotion, Taylor says, is what he aspires to create in his own music.

“I like to think my music is a combination of those two things,” Taylor explained. “Sometimes I’m wanting to be more simple; sometimes I’m wanting to be more abstract.”

To those who have never heard his music, Taylor says there is something for everyone.

“The music that we have out right now, it’s dynamic,” Taylor explained. “On our 10-song album, there’s kind of a song for every music fan. It’s music that draws from a lot of different places and can put you in the feeling of whatever the song is trying to portray.”

Taylor left his hometown of Spokane, Wash., shortly after high school and attended college in Nashville, Tenn., where he surrounded himself with a great crowd of musician types.

“In hindsight, it was 100% the right decision because I’ve met everybody that I’ve ever wanted to work with,” Taylor said.

Though Taylor alone is Dreamer Boy, he says the project is more like a band thanks to the contributions of his talented friends and roommates living together in the aptly-named “Dream House.”

“We all live together—my manager [Cody] Clark, my creative, photographer, graphic designer Adam [Alonzo] and then the person who I wrote and produced all the songs with and we make all the music stuff together, Bobby [Knepper],” said Taylor. “We all live in the same house and have become a family.”

Taylor understands how lucky he is to be surrounded by passionate friends who have contributed so meaningfully to his career.

“There’s not too many other artists who are fortunate enough to have a team around them this early. I am really excited and thankful. Nothing that we have been able to be a part of so far would have happened without them, ” he said.

Since the release of his first album in November of 2018, Dreamer Boy has been amazed at the reception.

“Being able to play shows on tour and seeing people singing and dancing or getting messages from people just telling me how the album spoke to them or what they were going through while they were listening to it all the time [is amazing].”

Any music fan has a special song or even an entire discography that conveys a feeling, a moment in time that changed them forever. But what does it feel like to be on the other side of that experience, to create music and watch it become someone else’s special song?

“I’m just excited because I know the albums that are special to me, and I’m excited to be that for people during periods of sadness or whatever they’re going through,” Taylor concluded.

Dreamer Boy will perform on Sunday, the final day of Hangout Fest, but he’s making his way to the beach earlier for sure.

“We’re gonna go down Friday night,” Taylor explained. “Me and my team’s favorite band is playing on this bill, The 1975, so we’re gonna get to see them live and hopefully be inspired. [There are] so many other great acts like King Princess, Travis Scott and Vampire Weekend.”

Still relatively new to performing and being “known,” Taylor and the Dream House crew plan to give as much as they get at Hangout Fest.

“This is also me and my team’s first festival experience in terms of playing at this level, so we are all just kind of happy to be there,” Taylor said.

Dreamer Boy
12:30-1:15 p.m.
Sunday
BMI Mermaid Stage