Editors' Notes For LA-based experimental pop performer Ryan Beatty, there’s beauty in committing a breakup to record. “There is sadness in these songs,” he tells Apple Music about his second LP, Dreaming of David, “but I never lose hope. I’ve been in some very low places, and there’s still always something that kept me going.” Resolve is expected from an artist with such a chameleonic career: After getting his start posting covers on YouTube, Beatty was portrayed as the second coming of Justin Bieber until he began pursuing euphoric pop over Aphex Twin-esque production, collaborating with avant-garde voices like Tyler, The Creator (IGOR), BROCKHAMPTON (GINGER), and Kevin Abstract (ARIZONA BABY) and fully divorcing himself from affable teen pop with his first album, 2018’s Boy in Jeans. Where that record interrogated queer sexual autonomy, Dreaming of David looks inside identity, written around guitar loops (“Genesis”) and electronic drum ’n’ bass (“Dark Circles”). Produced by Slow Hollows’ Austin Anderson and Daniel Fox, Dreaming of David is the album Beatty believes he was always meant to make. “I allowed myself to explore the abstract parts of me and not question them,” he says. “I made something that is based off instinct.” Here Beatty goes through each track on the album.

In the End
“The song really talks about closure, but at the same time not understanding where you are to go after finding an end with somebody. It feels like everything is up in the air, and it's sort of scary. I'm still holding on to this idea that through all of this there's still something that I'm leaning towards. There's still something that I can nearly grasp on to. So, while there's a sadness to it, there's also a joy.”

Dark Circles
“At the time of making this album, I was dancing a lot. I was going to these warehouse parties, I was going to clubs. That song connects with that part of me where I'm on the dance floor somewhere and dealing with a lot, but I’m moving my body to feel connected to myself, and I wanted a moment on this album where it was like that.”

Patchwork
“There’s some mania in it. I was interested in somebody that I felt wasn't being completely clear with me, and I'm really searching for answers in this song. It's almost like I'm being very dramatic with myself the entire time. I'm very much living within the drama of it all, and allowing myself to be that way, too.”

Hawkshaw
“This is the most tongue-in-cheek song on the album. It's me opening up with somebody and starting to feel like I can share my feelings with this person, and vice versa. The whole song is romantic and lighthearted and joyful.”

Flowers at the Door
“This one's very much sexual. I never feel like I get too perverted, even in my most intimate lyrics. Even with this song, it's very intimate, letting a lot of people in and opening the door to some people, of being very honest about my experiences. It's really me letting my hair down.”

Evergreen
“It's a celebration of a relationship, especially that last minute. When I hear that drum and bass section, it feels like it's a flashback. I'm really focusing on the good parts here.”

Genesis
“The song started off as a guitar—Austin came in and he put down this guitar—and I chopped it up with my engineer, which is different from the last album. This album started off with guitar demos, loops that Austin would make, and we took the song, fleshed it out. The songwriting is some of the best I've ever done personally. It’s about a relationship I was having with someone, and I was questioning my own faith and my own beliefs. I still don't necessarily have answers for myself. I'm so proud of this song lyrically, and the pacing of it feels like this waltz.”

Backseat
“That’s my sister and my mom talking. The song itself is the idea of really leaning on somebody and how it's not easy to literally have someone to rely on, because it's such an intimate thing. I don't always let people in and let them take care of me. It really talks about friendship, and it ties into the next song, too.”

Brother
“That song's very personal, but it also is about really wanting to be there for a person and take away all the pain they have and everything they're feeling, and not being allowed that. Of course people need their space, but when you're seeing something happen and you care deeply for this person, you want to reach out and take care of them. That song is really about that, too.”

Casino
“This song, it's really me living within the reality of a situation and sobering up. The chorus is a frustration, and then shouting that lyric, it's me begging for stability.”

Shimmer
“‘Shimmer’ was hard because of how special and personal it was. When you start to really dissect something, you start to lose the heart of it. I didn't want to overthink it too much; I'm very happy with how it turned out, because it's very subtle. It was the second song I made. I wrote it in March 2018, and it sat as a demo, but I knew it could fit in the album. So, with Austin and Daniel, we took that song and formed it into something that could make sense, sonically. I knew I wanted it to be a second-to-last track.”

Dreaming of David
“I'll say this: The line ‘Maybe someday we'll have it all’ is really a message, I think, that speaks through the album, because it's sort of a question. I don't know what is going to happen, but I think that there's some things here that could be eternal. I also see this as a slow dance. I see this as something really intimate.”

SONG
In The End
1
2:47
 
Dark Circles
2
4:40
 
Patchwork
3
3:08
 
Hawkshaw
4
2:11
 
Flowers At The Door
5
2:46
 
Evergreen
6
3:44
 
Genesis
7
3:47
 
Backseat
8
3:59
 
Brother
9
3:24
 
Casino
10
4:19
 
Shimmer
11
5:00
 
Dreaming of David
12
2:46
 

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