In 2008, two high school best friends began embarking on their dream. Sure, they already had been active in Milwaukee’s music scene: front man Ian Ash won the Summerfest Pepsi Talent Search performing an original song at age 13. Bassist Chivo had already cut his teeth playing hard rock in several projects. But after seeing an opportunity to compete for a major label record deal, Ian & The Dream were formed.
Competing in Bodog’s Battle of the Bands, Ian & The Dream were named “Best Milwaukee Band,” landing them performances in front of larger crowds such as the Metro and House of Blues in Chicago. Ian Ash won the title “Top Singer” at Waukesha County Fair, earning him an opening performance with the Beach Boys. When Grammy award-winning Beach Boy Bruce Johnston praised Ian’s performance, the band knew they were ready to reach higher in pursuit of their dream.
Enter Stephen Short, Grammy award-winning record producer who was brought to the band’s attention late last year. Identifying a band with strong songs and musicianship, Short helped the band hone in on their identity. Taking them to the famed Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, TX, Short produced an EP that brought out the best elements of Ian & The Dream: concise pop songs with uplifting honesty and emotion. How fitting that Ash, a songwriter who sat inside dissecting Beatles songs growing up, would get to work with Short, a sonic wizard who had worked intimately with Paul McCartney in the seventies.
The resulting release, Ian & The Dream, touches on themes of love, honesty, and living in the moment. One listen reveals the freshness this music has in this time and place. Melodies with flairs of oldies, combined with modern sonic textures, form a sound you haven’t quite heard before. To boldly go into new territory, that is The Dream.