“Giant In My Mind”, the latest self-reflective single by Big Bus Dream, marks a welcome return to the more stripped-down, fearless and emotionally rewarding writing that marked the singer-songwriter era at its creative peak. The track sees Big Bus Dream, and its front-man Mike Shannon sink more into the mode of earnest and introspective troubadour. Seizing the moment, Shannon throws in jangling, strummed acoustic guitars, gentle traces of percussion, some warm keys, and poignant harmonies. Everything is carefully attenuated so as to bring to the fore, the core of the attraction, which lies in the lyrics.
“If getting older and still making music wasn’t enough to think about, throw in a pandemic and you have plenty of time to think about your life. Add all the crazy politics and divide in this country and you have plenty to write about. Mostly, the record is about jumping, or just crashing through hurdles over the years – lots of hurdles,” explains Big Bus Dream’s Mike Shannon, talking about the upcoming album “Giant In My Mind”.
In particular, the lyrics of the single, “Giant In My Mind”, retraces and backtracks, to a time of aspirations, dreams and hopes. A time when we were younger and felt almost invincible, ready to conquer the world.
“Memories grow cold. I believe we never thought we’d get old. Never thinking it would end. Never tame. Target fame. Quite insane,” sings Mike Shannon, concluding. “In our room. I thought that I wrote the perfect tune. And In our eyes we thought that we’d be big very soon. But that was in our room.”
The lyrics move forward intensely, gradually sweeping you up in the atmosphere and nostalgia of the record. The words, “We were fine. A hazy time. Giants in our mind,” surges with white-hot honesty, delivered in Shannon’s spoonful of melancholy timbre. The tune manages to convey innocent good will and hope, while also coping with the inevitable realities we eventually have to accept.
Throughout “Giant In My Mind”, Big Bus Dream never sacrifices intimacy. Mike Shannon’s easygoing vocal is front-and-center in the mix, always close to the ear. It draws you close despite the sonic development cast around him. Shannon is a soul searcher, someone who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders yet at the same time tries to lighten the burden of others through concentrated empathy and sentiment.
“Giant In My Mind” is a fine example how Big Bus Dream can connect so soundly with the audience. The lyrics are personal and direct in the same measure, yet anyone can find their own particular dimension and memories in these words.
This may be Big Bus Dream’s best work by a mile. Mike Shannon has totally given way to an effortless songwriting maturity and an altogether seasoned approach to making records. All tempered by a genuinely raw and thoughtful performance, as well as a straightforward organic arrangement.