Feel the Dream Horse’s Spirit

By Laura Bardsley

The name Dream Horse Spirit brings out a few connotations. One inclination is to assume that the members are three skinny dudes playing keytars.

Sadly, this is not the case, although Nyssa Brown, Trevor Brown, Filip Cieplak and Keith Daser have made Dream Horse into quite an alternative post-dance machine. In the 10 months or so they’ve been together, they’ve played their share of house shows and venues. Trevor Brown claims that his initiative to start Dream Horse was for these rowdy, close-quartered performances.

“[They’re] disgustingly loud and fun,” Trevor Brown starts.

The four all agree they started Dream Horse for the fun times and dancing, also agreeing that their newest songs best capture the band’s sound.

“I have fallen into the arms of Marquis,” says Nyssa Brown. “[It] was made in the last trimester of the Dream Horse pregnancy . . . to say that the sound has changed over time is a considerable understatement. We grew into a full infant from just a mere seed.”

“The sound has become more mature, more complex and interesting,” Cieplak agrees.

Their roots and influences span from the eccentric to the eclectic and, of course, the different local musicians the members grew up with. For Trevor Brown and Daser, their local scene was Kelowna, with touring artists from the surrounding areas.

“[Kelowna] is a major breeding ground for Vancouver and Victoria,” Trevor Brown says proudly. “My first shows were Ladyhawk . . . and Bend Sinister, back when they were instrumental, playing in a living room [or] in basements.”

For Cieplak and Nyssa Brown, their influences come from a wide variety of sources.

“It’s all over the place here. I see a cute old lady, and that makes me want to sing about her,” Nyssa Brown exclaims. “I am Calgarian-born and raised, with teen-filled cafes and hilarious all-ages shows.”

As for where they see themselves in the Calgary scene, the band is quite modest.

“Frankly, close friends, I feel, are our only true fans at the given time,” says Cieplak. “To everyone else, I guess we are just dust in the wind.”

Trevor is a little more optimistic about the band’s place in people’s memories.

“I think they will miss the whole experience. [Dream Horse is] a kind of nostalgic thought of how fun that summer was.”

When asked what DHS memory shined brightest, it was a toss-up between playing Broken City and the numerous house shows last summer. Cieplak insists that Broken City takes the cake, explaining that,”The experience was surreal.”

However, Nyssa Brown and Trevor agree on the house show atmosphere being foremost in their minds.

“So many people in such a tight area dancing so hard, windmilling beers and party howling,” says Trevor Brown fondly, remembering the experience.

“Looking up to see sweaty, happy, dancing youth — that is so fucking gratifying,” concurs Nyssa Brown.

As for their worst memory, playing Vern’s Tavern was the unanimous choice.

“Every time . . . you think we would have learned the first time,” Daser laments.

Cieplak nods, noting that they weren’t shamed by being fooled twice.

“I’m surprised we came back for a third.”

Although some of the members are advertising the show on Friday as the last DHS show, it’s still unclear if that’s true.

“Under the moniker of Dream Horse Spirit, yes this will likely be our last show,” says Trevor Brown. “Will we still collaborate and play in bands together? Always.”

While Cieplak refuses to comment, Nyssa Brown and Daser have higher hopes than that.

“Dreamy, spirity horses are immortal,” she sighs. “I think everyone knows that — it’s science.”

“The Horse will never die,” agrees Daser.

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