Pop Duo Neon Dreams Turn Tender On "We Were Kings"
Most of what we’ve heard from Canadian duo Neon Dreams has been bursting with color — from their pumping electronic beginnings to last year’s quick, cool single to their most recent selection of clanging, clacking anthems. Every Neon Dreams release is totally different but, for the most part, each connected by a vibrant pop thread.
Last month, Neon Dreams took a tender turn with “We Were Kings,” a song that came out of left-field for a duo known for their explosive pop sound.
“I wanted to make a song that lets everyone that means something to me know I always have them in my heart. No matter how hard I work and lose track of time, nothing has ever changed about my feelings towards them, especially my friends that helped me get to where I am,” Neon Dreams’ lead vocalist Frank Kadillac tells The Music Mermaid. “The friends that helped me through me being bullied by kids and their parents for being a 6’2” 13-year-old mentally tortured from racism. The friends that sat with me in the hallways eating lunch because the cafeteria gave me anxiety. The friends that would listen to my really bad songs and say they were good to make me feel better. This song is for them.”
“We Were Kings” is an ode to the ones who were there when others weren’t. A song of this meaning isn’t fit for singalong hooks or catchy beats — Neon Dreams know this, so instead, they treat it tenderly, led by rolling acoustic strums and stripped-back vocal delivery. For most of the track, “We Were Kings” functions as an emotional acoustic ballad, but in true Neon Dreams fashion, there’s a moment towards the end in which the arrangement unfolds to welcome a more robust soundscape of powerful synth swells and vocal play, moving from its minimalist treatment to fleeting feeling at its most intense before ending on the softness of its beginning.