EXDREAMS – PHYSICAL CONTACT is at Top 200 Radio Now!!

The day Shenandoah Davis introduces me to a new artist is ALWAYS a great day, and that rule did not fail when she connected me with Grace Hope of Tacoma, WA’s EXDREAMS! (Band name actually typed in all lower-case—exdreams–if you see me talking about it in sentences later on.) This excellent record is going for both Top 200 and Electronic spins, a rarity for me to be promoting to two panels at once! (I hadn’t done much Electronic promotion since that genre was called “RPM” during my LIFT days, but I’m excited to get back to it!!) ANYWAY, this record is amazing!! It’s lady-driven electro-pop in the vein of Jenn Champion or The Blow or Robyn, with songs about heartbreak and self-love and smashing the patriarchy. It’s front-to-back pure gold. And one song had swears on it but I convinced Grace to do a clean edit, which is what you’re getting on both the disc AND the download, so I’m 100% positive you have no FCC worries here! Now get on it, because this record is FLY AS HELL!!




Grace Hope, co-founder of the successful and beloved Tacoma, WA band, Goldfinch, has launched a new music project called exdreams.  Her debut album physical contact was produced by DuWayne “DJ” Phinisey, a prolific hip-hop and pop producer from Tacoma now residing and working in Los Angeles.  With big, dancey hooks and rich synth layers, exdreams marks a dramatic shift in style and energy from the folk-rock sound of Goldfinch and the quiet piano music of Apartment Lights, Hope’s previous solo project.  The video for the album’s first single, “it’s not sex”, had its world premiere at the Tacoma Film Festival on October 7th, where Hope performed at Alma Mater as part of TRACK 03: Music Video Showcase.

Recorded over seven days in the spring of 2018 in both LA and Tacoma, the album is the product of a writing collaboration between Hope and her former Goldfinch bandmate, Aaron Stevens, along with Phinisey.  physical contact marks Hope’s return to music after diving deep into her pursuit of a degree in science while navigating the end of her long marriage. Jokingly referred to as divorce pop, physical contact explores Hope’s relationship with sex and masturbation, alcoholism, power, and dreams.  These songs are playful, honest, emotional, and sexy as fuck. They are also raw, complex, and emotionally mature: pop for grown ups.

The creative process for this album was an unusual departure from the extensive tinkering and workshopping that Hope and Stevens used in the past.  The exdreams songs were for the most part written and recorded simultaneously, with all of the creative energy of the moment captured.  Hope, Stevens, and Phinisey didn’t have much time to overthink or second-guess anything during the making of the record, and while the experience was an incredibly intense one, it also brought a sincerity and freshness to the songs.  

Here Hope is clearly liberated and reveling in her freedom as a single adult and her arrival into a sense of finally, fully, deeply belonging to herself. And Hope has a lot to celebrate. She had a rocky start with a childhood in a restrictive religious cult that brought her family from California to Washington State in the late ‘70s to form a commune in South Tacoma. Deeply isolated, abused, and depressed but obsessed with music, she credits the late-night radio shows she sneakily listened to on 107.7 The End for offering her hope that there was something better out there, and for giving her the courage to finally leave the cult at the age of sixteen.  She spent the rest of her teen years supporting herself financially, trying to learn about the outside world and assimilate into it, and expanding her musical obsessions. She dug deep into the catalogues of her favorite artists, started seeing as much live music as possible, and was always hungry to find more.

Hope married young and started a family, and for years oscillated between writing and performing her own music, and feeling wracked with too much self-doubt and insecurity to go on.  The long-term mental health effects of the cult were an obstacle she wrestled with over and over again, but at the age of 34 she decided to finally attend college, a move that had been prohibited for women in the cult.  Certain that she would fail, Hope was stunned to find that she was weirdly brilliant at math, chemistry, biology, and basically anything else she tried. Her bizarre upbringing and her years with music gave her a mind that readily snapped up patterns and made sense of them.  She began to overcome her fears that she was too different to be accepted, and stopped caring so much about whether or not she fit in anymore. She won local and national awards in the fields of biology and chemistry and went on to become the most decorated student in the history of her college.  In 2016 she finally got sober after years of using alcohol to cope with her childhood trauma. The achievements she was experiencing in school were translating into personal strength and helping to re-write the damaged narrative of her youth.

In the early spring of 2018, still a year away from graduating with her bachelor’s in Molecular & Cellular Biology from the University of Puget Sound and only a couple of months after the end of her fifteen-year marriage, Grace Hope found herself back in the studio.  The music of exdreams came pouring out.  As exdreams, Hope leans heavily on a lifetime of profound love for artists like Kate Bush, Portishead, and Anohni, but these new tracks showcase the power and clarity of her own unique voice with weird harmonies and stacks of vocals that manage to feel poppy while remaining original and unaffected.  

Independent at last, Hope is completely in touch with her own singing and narrative voice.  There’s nothing in the world like exdreams because it’s the music of a singular artist who knows herself deeply, has come to terms with her own weirdness, and is finally expressing it bravely.  This is an artist who understands that music not only saves lives, but makes them worth living at all.

RIYL: Jenn Champion, The Blow, Robyn, Inara George, Portishead, Beach House, My Brightest Diamond, Sia, HAIM, Perfume Genius, Annie Lennox, Kate Bush

Start With: 4, 2, 6                    

FCC CLEAN (track 4 is already a RADIO EDIT on disc & download)

Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!



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