Lucy Liyou

Dog Dreams

American Dreams • 2023

Every Lucy Liyou release feels radically different from the last, and with »Dog Dreams (개꿈)«, the San Francisco-based artist redefines for herself and her audience what a music release really is, or rather can be. A somewhat conventional album—three different pieces with a total playing time of just under 36 minutes, available on record and digitally—at first glance, it is also (part of) a computer game, or rather a virtual space or dreamscape that listeners can explore individually while the music plays in the background. Muted yet psychedelic colours, a dark-coloured underwater world or an unknown planet with minimal gravity—it is never that clear where we are, but that’s never really the case once you immerse yourself in your unconscious, is it? The dreamy blur of the digital environment fits perfectly with the music, in which Liyou takes up tropes and methods of ASMR as she so often does, reciting poetry sometimes in English, sometimes in Korean in a wispy voice. The sound is to be understood as a surround experience. There is always something rustling, crackling and popping somewhere around you. But there’s also plenty of electronic or organ drones, gentle piano sounds and the occasional jazzy inflection as well as vocals buried far back in the mix or even a soulful interlude that is as pathetic as it is powerful. They all form part of an overall picture that Liyou, together with co-producer Nick Zanca, constantly rearranges and sets in motion again once she is done with it. »Dog Dreams (개꿈)« expands these already dream-like sounds with a visual, interactive level as a dynamic work of art that is both intimate and inimitable.