We’ve all heard the stories of the impetus behind various arts coming to people in dreams. Keith Richards coming up with the infamous riff for “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” leaps to my mind.
In the case of the New York-based concept-rockers Dalton Deschain & the Traveling Show, their genesis came about from a nightmare its titular figurehead had in college. Since then, Deschain has been crafting the narratives that he would not begin to fully explore until 2014 following the release of the project’s debut EP, The Collateral Vignettes. With that, Deschain was able to recruit a full band that now includes himself (vox/guitars), Jo Kroger (vox), Phil Harris (drums) and David Warpaint (bass).
Not unlike Coheed & Cambria’s companion Amory Wars concept, Dalton Deschain & The Traveling Show’s boundless universe continues to grow, encompassing a large and diverse cast of characters through a combination of music and prose. Catherine, the second EP in a planned trilogy, is set to expand the story further with its latest offering, “Approximate Girl,” premiering today along with an illustration from its accomapnying Chapbook.
The heartrending EP closer, despite its overarching connections, is a self-contained emotional journey that anybody who has lost a relationship to ambitious circumstances can relate to. “Approximate Girl” moves from delicate instrumentation and swells to a fiery crescendo as Deschain mourns on behalf of Catherine over the fray.
“For all of the usual weird songs we have about circus freaks and nukes, ‘Approximate Girl’ is a relatively straightforward breakup song,” shares Deschain. “It’s about the constant pursuit of some imagined perfect future, and the people we leave behind in that chase. Then when you realize that maybe you had it best when you were together, how do you pick up what’s left and move forward?
We tried to design the song to feel like an incoming storm, that starts off as just a feeling in the air, and then arrives in full force by the end.”
Pre-order Catherine here, and catch Dalton Deschain & the Traveling Show at their EP release show on Sunday, July 16th at the Knitting Factory.
Catherine is a young girl in 1945, just out of high school, who moves to Detroit to become a stage actress. Shortly after she arrives, the United States’ involvement in WWII comes to a sudden end when a chemical attack hits California, killing millions and causing the US to divert all resources to containing the outbreak of a deadly disease.
The rest of the country soon falls into economic ruin, and Catherine’s dreams are put on hold. While the rest of the city starves, Catherine makes routine daily trips to obtain a shipment of fresh food from her father, who owns a farm in Lansing.
Eventually, a group of soldiers discovers the shipment, and cuts off her supply to her food source. Later, they attempt to accost Catherine in a bar, but are stopped by a strange man. Catherine learns that this man is a revolutionary who has been trying to take control of the city and rebuild it with him as its leader.
She does not trust this man, but realizes he may be her only way to survive, so she leaves with him.