Dracula Jackson “Dreams” Up Pop-Rock Magic On New Single

Did you ever have a dream that stuck with you so doggedly and irresistibly that you began to question your hold on reality itself? That’s the kind of experience Dracula Jackson – a.k.a. Annapolis singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Sean Jackson – has conjured up with “Dreams,” the haunting new single from his most recent album, Shadows of a Ghost. Check it out on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-nx4-ncqCY

An arresting alt-pop number with the persistence of a particularly turbulent night, “Dreams” takes hold of your waking brain and won’t let go. Supple acoustic guitar and delicate piano mesh perfectly over simple yet insistent drumming, providing a firm bed for Jackson’s plaintive, ethereal vocal lines. The echoey, late-night vibe of the production keeps his voice in the eerie near-distance as he repeats lines so poetic in their minimalism that they practically become a mantra:

I can’t fall asleep

I think about you

I think about you

A secret that I keep
I think about you

I think about you

A cascade of multi-tracked vocals rings in the chorus, as the words become a hymn to disorientation:

And it’s all in my dreams

I know it’s a sin, but I don’t know where to begin

And it’s all in my dreams

Just give me a sign so I know you weren’t a dream

Jackson says he meant for the song to convey “an unexpected encounter with a stranger in the night,” accompanying the narrator on “a journey whose destination is unclear. Did it happen? Was it real? [M]aybe the dream itself is more important than the truth.”

Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/4KmfG3TW11svfmdqTLst83?si=485d23e0e1844daa&nd=1&dlsi=bc0503990b854e35

The truth about Jackson is that he’s a major talent on multiple fronts. Following the example of one of his idols, Prince, he’s practically a one-man band on record: “Dreams,” like the other eight tracks on Shadows of a Ghost, showcases his skills on drums, bass and guitar, at the keyboard, and of course behind the mic. (Co-producer and co-engineer Chris Seaton, a friend of Jackson’s since childhood, plays steel guitar on the new single, as well as Mellotron and synth elsewhere on the album.)

But the late Minneapolis wonder is hardly the only touchstone for Jackson’s output. On the writing front, he’s been influenced by everyone from The Beatles to The Smiths to Interpol. Real life, though, is reliably his greatest muse, with his work across several albums acting as a kind of diary of his personal journey through love, loss, longing and finally love again. (With his wife, Laura Brino, he performs in their act Lily and the Pearl.)  

While he’s only been recording under the Dracula Jackson moniker for two years, this reliably prolific artist has been performing since the age of 15 and had recorded two full albums of original material by the time he was old enough to vote. Shadows of a Ghost combines new material and previously unreleased tracks from what’s already been a near-career’s worth of activity, forming what Jackson calls “a virtual scrapbook of memories.” One listen to “Dreams,” and you’ll have a new memory for of your own.