We first heard from Big Bus Dream in May of this year, upon the release of the single “Giant in My Mind.” The band is actually a one man show starring veteran singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist producer Mike Shannon. That song introduced readers of The Static Dive to a talented and adventurous songwriter from Charlotte, North Carolina with a distinctly creative production technique, multi-genre compositional style and insightful lyrical form. On May 20, 2021 Big Bus Dream released the full length album “Giant in My Mind,” available worldwide on all major streaming services.
Stylistically, the album is a creative mix of late 60’s psychedelic Folk, experimental 80’s and 90’s Alternative Rock and a modern Lo-fi aesthetic. Shannon writes hypnagogic Dream Pop that ties classic melodies and chord progressions to stream of consciousness poetry and avant-garde production techniques. All of his songs are centered sonically around his Nashville strung acoustic guitar and sleepy, hypnotic vocals. Around that core he weaves trippy electric guitars and intricate melodic bass lines. He expands the vision of singer/songwriter indie folk with forays into multiple genres from Rock, to Pop and even Jazz as on the adventurous “Operator.”
The songs on “Giant in My Mind” work within this musical framework to make sharp social commentaries and personal observations about life. Subjects range from the title track’s retrospective look at the early days of the singer’s music career to broad ranging socio-political commentary. Mike dissects tough subjects like our broken political system and gun violence on tracks like “Pain” and “It’s Over.” On “Money to Burn” he skewers Capitalist greed and the disparate states of economic well being in the world. Much of his social commentary is delivered from a very individual perspective. For instance “Shiver” and “So Very Old” pine for simpler times before technology became the hub of interpersonal communication in our society.
The passing of time and recalled memories are recurrent themes throughout the album. However, it’s not all about broad societal observations. Many of the stories on “Giant in My Mind” are deeply personal. The singer takes a melancholy walk through memories of his adult children’s early years on “My Cowboy” and “Teardrops,” and delivers an assessment of a failing relationship that is both witty and heartbreaking on the track “Can’t Find the Tears.” Regardless of subject matter, Big Bus Dream’s songs spin idealism, realism and a good dose of Randy Newman style sarcasm to tell clever and relatable stories.
Check out the “Giant in My Mind” album in its entirety below. You can also hear the song “So Very Old” on the Deep Indie Songwriters playlist. Follow the links below the video to connect with Big Bus Dream. Get in the loop on all of the extensive back catalog and future projects from Mike Shannon.