★★★★

Happiness is as hard to embrace in music as it is in life.

The pleasant makes us uncomfortable. The unashamedly uplifting feels trite. Singing effectively about the pie cooling on the windowsill is harder than it is about the body decomposing in the well. Good things are embarrassing. Talking about them even more so.

Major Leagues’ Dream States isn’t only a pleasure, then – it’s a rare one. Though a song like ‘Leave’ is laced with a distinct dash of melancholy, it’s about small wonders and delicate, tender miracles. Nothing is forced, or artificial, and though to call it ‘whimsical’ would be an odd way of neutering its successes, there is something wide-eyed about it.

‘Raymond Carver’ operates in the same quiet, heartbreakingly understated manner as its namesake, and the wavy, distorted chorus at the centre of ‘Get Lost’ ripples about with its own distinct brand of beauty. It’s light but not without weight; untroubled but not unconcerned.

James Cameron once described his film Aliens as being “ten miles of bad road”. Dream States is the exact opposite of that, and yet somehow just as significant – a good time that proves as memorable and altering as a bad one.

Dream StatesbyMajor Leaguesis out now on Popfrenzy.

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