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IN Covers: She Does Is Magic covers Dreamers of the Ghetto's "Tether"
Posted June 29, 2015 by Rob Peoni

 

The future looked bright for Bloomington’s Dreamers of the Ghetto in 2011. The band earned high praise for the release of its lone LP Enemy/Lover on Brooklyn’s Temporary Residence. In fact, (somebody check the numbers) Dreamers of the Ghetto may serve as the highest-ranking Hoosier on the confounding Pitchfork album scale with a whopping 7.8 (SEE: Review). Later that year, the band performed on the headline stage at Raleigh, NC’s Hopscotch Music Festival alongside relative titans Guided By Voices and Flaming Lips.

 

 

Dreamers of the Ghetto was a familial project consisting of lead singer and bassist Luke Jones, his guitarist brother Jonathan, Luke’s wife Laura on keyboards, and Marty Sprowles on drums. For reasons unknown, the luster of Dreamers of the Ghetto’s auspicious debut faded quickly. I would imagine the pressure of critical consensus that the band’s sound was suited best for sprawling stadiums proved significant. Or maybe the old adage of mixing family with business rang true. Who knows?

 

Despite leaping out of the gate at an impressive gallop, Dreamers of the Ghetto failed to follow-up. A sophomore album never materialized. The band appeared to dissolve before it ever had the chance to disappoint itself or its modest fan base. Luke Jones and Sprowles have re-emerged as a less hook-driven and more synth heavy two-piece entitled Hunterchild, releasing a self-titled album last year. The scope of that project has yet to be realized. Watch a recent live set from Bloomington’s Blockhouse as an introduction.

 

 

It’s ironic and almost unfair that a song every critic pegged as designed for the arena should translate so well in the confines of a basement. She Does Is Magic stumbled upon “Tether” by accident. According to lead singer Chad Serhal, the band was digging for a John Mellencamp track for their contribution to MFT’s IN Covers series, but nothing clicked. Drummer Nathan Dynak suggested “Tether.” Despite reservations, Serhal agreed.

 

"I didn’t think it would be doable for us,” Serhal says, “but then we put together a demo of the more uptempo version like the one we recorded and it worked. It kind of sounds like the way we first intended to sound when we got together."

 

In addition to its position as the closing track on Enemy/Lover, "Tether" also found release on a limited-edition 7" through My Old Kentyucky Blog's short-lived label Roaring Colonel Records. Despite its short life-span, Roaring Colonel left a deep impact locally with strong releases from Hotfox's You, Me & The Monster to We Are Hex's Hail to the Goer.

 

The warmth of producer Sharlene Birdsong’s decision to record to tape for this series shines through on She Does Is Magic’s version of "Tether." Warmth is one of those indefinable descriptors that music critics turn to frequently. It’s like when a TV chef talks about umami with food. Despite the air of bullshit, a bit of truth remains.

 

She Does Is Magic has plans for further recording in 2015. According to Serhal, the band has an album's worth of material left on the chopping block from previous releases. For more on the band, check out my NUVO interview with Serhal following SDIM's release of Strangers earlier this year. 

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