• Anarchist Milk Collective

Jim Bell - Out of Dreams



Jim Bell’s single Out of Dreams offers a playful and relaxing space from which to while away the quarantine hours. The song itself was written in Bell’s last year of university, it was “recorded entirely in my bedroom”, with towels placed over the drums to keep the neighbours from complaining. In addition to this, Bell took a DIY approach to preparing the studio; “I didn’t have any microphone stands… setting up recording involved decapitating a lamp and a lot of sell-o-tape.” Despite the unorthodox approach to recording, the finished product is pleasing in its quality, with Bell praising the producer - Al - from Shrunken Head who was able to “work wonders on the track.” The title opens the track to numerous interpretations; as Bell points out, “it could mean you’ve run out of dreams… that you’ve been knocked out of dreams… that you’re in and out of dreams.”


I write this, sitting in a North London flat, gazing out and the sun-drenched street, watching trees swaying gently in the wind, listening to the song on repeat. As I do so, I am inclined to agree with Bell’s last suggestion: “it could mean that the experience of listening to the track is like one out of dreams”. The gentle twangs of guitar strings and soft percussion provide a pleasant background for those afternoons with nothing to do but enjoy the steady passing of time. Played over footage of one of Bell’s friends from university (Rachel Wharton) painting, one feels in the track and its accompanying video a striking resemblance to a lethargic daydream. The steady running of colours and abstract shapes that are continually distorted through visual effects provide a calming spectacle. With each frame gently blending into the next, one is reminded of the pleasant meanderings of the mind as it glides from thought to thought. And as the sun slowly sets in North London, Out of Dreams plays across my room. I sink into my bed and enjoy the April breeze.

- Rachel Wharton


To find out more about Jim Bell, please visit his website.


Video credit: Max Bonavent.


Paintings from the video: Rachel Wharton, to see more of Wharton’s work, please visit her website.

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