Rising star Dreamer Boy on the music that inspired him in 2020

Words by Sarah Noonan

A feast for the senses.

Despite it being an unbelievably terrible year (or perhaps because of it?), 2020 was packed with excellent music. So much of it, in fact, that I’m sure there are albums, singles and music videos that have entirely passed you by.

I know there have been for me, which is why I’ve asked some of my favourite artists to tell me about the music they couldn’t stop listening to this year. Because who better to ask than people who literally make music for a living?

Next in the series is Nashville-based musician Dreamer Boy. 24-year-old singer-songwriter Zach Taylor, aka Dreamer Boy, fuses psychedelic and lo-fi contemporary pop and plays to sell-out crowds across the United States. Bringing his own unique sound to the rich music history of Nashville, Dreamer Boy creates evocative songs to soundtrack those long summer drives. Here is his most listened to music from 2020.

Hovvdy – ‘Runner’ 

When this song came out, I think my friends and I had it on repeat for a whole week. It has remained one of my favourite songs from one of my favourite bands and definitely a musical highlight of this year. I love the drums on this one, and I run a lot so I love running to this one.

Cut Worms – ‘Every Once In A While’

This song is a part of a great album as well. Basically, I love the feeling that I get when I listen to George Harrison’s music, specifically, ‘All Things Must Pass’, and this song and album really continues that feeling for me. I think that Cut Worms is such a talented songwriter and arranger, and these songs definitely take you back to that era of music. I want to make a full album like this one day.

Slowthai – ‘NHS’

This is one of my favourite songs from the past couple of months. It captures the feeling of this year really well and I think I just admire all the different corners of life Slowthai talks about in this song. It feels like commentary but also feels very personal. Like a letter to the world and a letter to yourself.

Yves Jarvis – ‘For Props’ 

I love this song so much, and Yves is so talented as a producer and songwriter. I think this whole album gives me the inspiration to keep experimenting and also take a dive into recording to tape.

Rick West – ‘Pilot’

This song hit me when I needed to hear “you are the pilot” sung to me. I was going down a road of bad habits, cycling thoughts, and I was not having it anymore when I heard this song. I put it on repeat and pulled myself up and started growing again. Rick is a great friend and super inspiring to me.

Adrianne Lenker – ‘Anything’

This is probably my song of the year. They are so talented at painting these warm vivid pictures of songs. ‘Anything’ is very overwhelming with imagery as well as emotion and it is a part of one of my favourite albums of the year as well. Imagine the most twinkly, intimate, folk music that is mixed with the urgency to tell the people around you that love them as soon as you can.

Listen to Dreamer Boy’s latest single ‘Don’t Be a Fool’ here.


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