Review: Vocal Few – “The Dream Alive”

Vocal Few is a musical project started by Matt MacDonald (The Classic Crime) and his wife, Kristie MacDonald to bring in a little money as their family began to expand from two, to a “few” with the arrival of their first child. Now a family of four, Vocal Few is set to releasing their latest EP The Dream Alive on October 30th. This album is being released completely DIY in partnership with BC Music.

The duo has just returned home after a 38 date tour around the U.S. in which they played to over 1000 people in living room shows across the country.  Matt MacDonald claims this as the most important entry in the Vocal Few canon as it’s supporting his family, feeling like a full time gig for the first time, and is the first set of songs “not motivated by impending childbirth.”

The Dream Alive is a pop flavored indie record of mostly acoustic guitar, piano, some strings, and plenty of gentle harmonies. Each track feels very personal and is easy to connect with. Matt and Kristie’s voices blend perfectly and are excellently paired with the relaxed instrumentation and pace of the album.

The Corner Dwellers” is a somber but beautiful song that begins with just acoustic guitar and Matt’s voice, soon introducing piano, strings, and Kristie’s voice. The slow build of this song is incredibly compelling. “The Corner Dwellers” is a great example of the richness of the songwriting on this album.

There is no doubt about why  “The Dream Alive” was the first single, with it’s cheery guitar and finger snaps, it’s immediately catchy. The lyrics reflect what they are doing right now, playing music and touring with their kids: “cruising cross the country by car / oh, got a long way to go / pack up all the kids in the van … we want our daughters to say one day/ that we did our best to keep the dream alive.”

Another highlight is the especially beautiful, “You’ve Been Written.” This love song seems effortless and is a wonderful showing of this couple’s natural chemistry.

Folky acoustic pop with lyrics and vocals that give the feeling you’re sharing stories with old friends: Vocal Few’s The Dream Alive is an album that is easy to fall in love with.


Vocal Few The Dream Alive cover artPick up The Dream Alive is available on iTunes or Bandcamp

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