The Juliana Theory share plans for ‘A Dream Away,’ their first album, in over 15 years as they continue to release music after their surprise return last fall. Due out March 26th via Rude/ Equal Vision Records, ‘A Dream Away’ sees the duo – Brett Detar and Joshua Fielder – reimagining some of their most beloved tracks through a fresh lens and a new perspective. Along with the news, the band has shared the first of those arrangements with a stunning stripped-back version of ‘If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?’ from their seminal 2000 album, ‘Emotion Is Dead.’
“When I was a kid I used to wait in anticipation for new episodes of MTV‘s Unplugged.’ I loved how artists would sit on stools in an intimate venue and perform their otherwise electrified songs on almost entirely acoustic instruments. At its best, ‘Unplugged’ versions of songs could outshine the ‘official’ versions”, Brett says. He reminisces on the incredible artistry and imagination of episodes featuring Nirvana, Neil Young, and Jay-Z, all of whom showcased how a good song could be arranged in many ways, with different instruments, tempos, and altogether different life. When he and Josh were asked to do an acoustic tour in 2019 – the tour that led to their ultimate comeback – the duo began to strip back and reimagine their most well-loved songs much in the spirit of ‘Unplugged’ laying the foundation for ‘A Dream Away.’ He continues: “It was a very fun challenge to try and honor the pure, creative spirit these songs were originally made with while building upon the acoustic foundation with mellotrons, pianos, glockenspiels, woodwinds, and a healthy dose of strings. I hope that the love and care and time we put into these arrangements shines through”.
Once they landed on the concept of ‘A Dream Away,’ no song from their back catalogue called to them faster than‘If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?’ – a posthardcore staple they opened each set on 2019’s acoustic tour with. “Every night we were playing these songs that people knew but they were in a format that we had never done before and that is what was so interesting to me about it. It was really cool to watch the expression on people’s faces when we started our set and they weren’t necessarily sure what song it was just yet and then to see that spark of recognition and excitement when ‘Watch Your Mouth!’ came in. Everyone was singing along by the third word,” Brett remembers. “That tour was the foundation for this record.”
The band has also shared that their New Year’s Day release ‘Better Now’ will also appear on ‘A Dream Away.’ Capturing the spirit of looking towards brighter days, the duo sat down recently to chat with To Write Love On Her Arms about the song and emotional video’s depth and why it was important to release it to start off 2021 as they spread a message of hope and strength. ‘Better Now’ followed the November release of ‘Can’t Go Home,’ which marked the band’s first new music in more than 15 years as well as their signing to Rude/Equal Vision Records.